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A Butterfly Oasis

The garden in July, 1997.

Named after pioneering entomologists Dr. Frederick and Norah Urquhart, who after forty years of patient research solved the mystery of the migrating monarchs, construction of Canada's first municipal butterfly garden began in 1994.

Located in Centennial Park on the banks of the Desjardins Canal, it is heavily planted with nectar and foliage plants needed by butterflies and their caterpillars. It is maintained without the use of pesticides, many of which are detrimental to butterfly populations.

Beyond creating valuable new butterfly habitat, the garden's objectives include educating the public about how to contribute to protecting butterfly populations. The garden also provides a relaxing, natural environment where people of all ages can learn about the diversity of local butterfly species and enjoy their beauty.

The garden is the brainchild of local businesswoman Joanna Chapman, who in 1992 catalyzed the formation of a group known as the "Butterfly Coalition". Members of the Coalition secured funding, identified an appropriate site, solicited contributions in kind from many local businesses and individuals, gained the support of the Town of Dundas and devoted many hours of their own time to planting and maintaining the garden.

The garden now consists of six large raised beds, each approximately 75 × 35 feet, and the adjacent bank of the canal. All are planted with shrubs, perennials and annuals. The Butterfly Coalition also planted ten memorial apple trees in Centennial Park, just adjacent to the garden.

Since municipal amalgamation, Dundas is now part of the City of Hamilton.

To ensure the continued operation and support of the Garden, a formal relationship has been established with the Hamilton Naturalists' Club.