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Experience the Beauty of Monarch Butterflies and watch as they get ready for their migration to Mexico at the Tommy Thompson Park Butterfly Festival

Aug 25, 2011

 (TORONTO August 25, 2011) - Monarch butterfly sightings will be in full swing when Monarch butterflies start their annual journey of more than 3,500 kilometres from Canada to Mexico where they spend the winter. This incredible migration takes place between August and November and begins with the gathering of Monarchs at places like Tommy Thompson Park, Toronto's largest greenspace that provides critical habitat for butterflies. More than 55 species of butterflies have been recorded to date at the park. On Saturday, August 27 at the third annual Tommy Thompson Park Butterfly Festival, children, families and nature lovers can be part of this migration phenomenon, experience Monarchs up close and learn all there is to know about the butterfly conservation.

The festival is sponsored by Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA), Ontario Nature and Ontario Power Generation (OPG).

 WHEN: Saturday, August 27, 2011 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

  • Some activities require registration. Visit www.butterflyfest.ca for activity details and registration.
  • For media registration, please see contact information below.

WHAT: Tommy Thompson Park Butterfly Festival

  • Free!
  • Guided walks through park meadows to view migratory butterflies
  • Live bird banding demonstrations by experts
  • Learn how to grow a garden to attract and sustain butterflies
  • View insect and butterfly displays - learn from expert entomologists
  • See birds of prey presented by Wild Ontario

WHERE: Tommy Thompson Park, 3 Leslie Street, south of Lake Shore Boulevard East. Free parking is available at the main parking lot or on Unwin Avenue and Leslie Street. TTC directions: #83 Jones S. bus to Commissioner Street and Leslie Street, or Queen Streetcar to Leslie Street stop.

NOTE: The park shuttle van will run throughout the festival area, but bicycles and walking shoes are recommended. Private vehicles and pets are not permitted in the park.

"As meadow enhancements continue and mature we are hoping to see an improvement in the number of butterfly species and their populations at Tommy Thompson Park. Just two weeks ago we received a report that a Horace's Duskywing butterfly was observed at the park," said Karen McDonald, , project manager at Toronto and Region Conservation "We are very excited about this sighting, as it is a new record for the park and for Toronto. We look forward to celebrating butterflies and Toronto's amazing biodiversity at the third annual Tommy Thompson Park Butterfly Festival."

"Observing butterflies in their native habitat is a great hands-on way to learn about nature. Kids are naturally attracted to butterflies because of their intriguing shapes and colours and their accessibility," said Caroline Schultz, Ontario Nature's executive director. "The Tommy Thompson Park Butterfly Festival is a great way to celebrate the Monarch's epic fall journey to Mexico and to learn about conserving Ontario's butterfly species."

About TRCA
With over 50 years of experience, Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) helps people understand, enjoy and look after the natural environment. Our vision is for The Living City®, where human settlement can flourish forever as part of nature's beauty and diversity. For more information, call 416-661-6600 or visit us at www.trca.on.ca or www.ttpbrs.ca.

About Ontario Nature
Ontario Nature protects wild species and wild spaces through conservation, education and public engagement. Ontario Nature is a charitable organization representing more than 30,000 members and supporters and over 140 member groups across Ontario. For more information, call 416-444-8419 or visit www.ontarionature.org.

About OPG Biodiversity
OPG Biodiversity is a series of conservation-focused, family-friendly events sponsored by Ontario Power Generation in partnership with Ontario Nature, the Bruce Trail Conservancy, Earth Rangers, LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests), Rouge Park and Trees Ontario. Its goal is to spread the word about protecting and conserving biodiversity in our urban parklands and forest ecosystems, making it easy for people to get involved with the environment and help fight climate change. OPG Biodiversity is part of OPG's commitment to conserve, sustain and protect nature. For further information on these and other upcoming events, visit http://opgbiodiversity.ca/.

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Media contact:

Elizabeth Oakley
Tel: 416-661-6600 ext 5856
media@trca.on.ca

If you are a member of the media and would like us to add you to our news distribution network, please e-mail your contact information to media@trca.on.ca