TRCA’s Butterfly Festival Inspires Community to Support Butterfly Conservation

On Saturday, August 19, butterfly enthusiasts gathered at Tommy Thompson Park (TTP) to celebrate Flight of the Monarch Day.

This special event honoured the iconic Monarch butterfly as it embarks on an epic journey to Mexico over the winter months. The incredible 4,000 km migration takes place between August and November, beginning with Monarch butterflies gathering at places like TTP, an important roosting site for migrating Monarchs as they prepare to cross Lake Ontario.

Monarch butterfly
TRCA educator leads pollinator nature walk at Tommy Thompson Park
children wear Monarch butterfly wings at TRCA Butterfly Festival at Tiommy Thompson Park

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) welcomed the community to the park to learn more about butterfly and pollinator conservation.

Among the attendees was one extra-special butterfly enthusiast: Evan Huynh. TRCA’s Chair, Paul Ainslie, brought welcoming remarks to attendees and highlighted Evan’s efforts for spreading awareness and fundraising within his community to support TRCA’s butterfly conservation initiatives.

TRCA chair Paul Ainslie and CEO John MacKenzie greet young butterfly enthusiast Evan Huynh and Indigenous dignitaries at TRCA Butterfly Festival at Tommy Thompson Park
Left to right: Elder Cat Criger; his partner, Cheryl Cress; Paul Ainslie, Chair of TRCA’s Board of Directors and Councillor for City of Toronto; young butterfly enthusiast Evan Huynh; John MacKenzie, Chief Executive Officer, TRCA.

Evan’s passion for Monarchs began at age six while at home during the pandemic. He began learning about them by reading and watching videos online, and eventually created a butterfly-boosting garden with plants like milkweed and native flowers that help butterflies thrive.

Evan was even able to find a few caterpillars around his neighbourhood and raise them to adulthood! Eventually, Evan decided to share his knowledge with fellow neighbours by making a sign and sitting on his front lawn to raise awareness about butterfly conservation and funds to support TRCA.

Evan Huynh on his front lawn welcoming his neighbours to learn about butterflies and collecting donations for TRCA
Evan Huynh on his front lawn welcoming his neighbours to learn about butterflies and collecting donations.
Evan Huynh with TRCA chair Paul Ainslie and CEO John MacKenzie
Left to right: Evan Huynh; TRCA Chair Paul Ainslie; TRCA CEO John MacKenzie.

TRCA applauds Evan for his passion and enthusiasm in supporting our work to improve and conserve our precious resources. We hope Evan’s story can serve as an inspiration for us all!

You can help by supporting the Monarch Teacher Network of Canada, a growing collective of educators and nature enthusiasts who teach and inspire people to connect with nature through hands-on training, teacher resources, and professional development workshops.

If you’re interested in butterfly conservation, you can read more about how to protect butterflies and other pollinators! You can also help bring nature back to the living city by supporting The Meadoway through Toronto and Region Conservation Foundation.

TRCA educator greets young visitor to the Butterfly Festival at Tommy Thompson Park
Monarch butterfly caterpillar on milkweed leaf
visitors to TRCA Butterfly Festival take part in guided pollinator walk at Tommy Thompson Park
TRCA educator greets visitors to Butterfly Festival at Tommy Thompson Park
Toronto skyline viewed from Tommy Thompson Park
visitors to the TRCA Butterfly Festival explore the trails at Tommy Thompson Park