Community Greens

People of all colors discussing evergreen ideas.

Butterflies & Sunflowers

Butterflies & Sunflowers encourages appreciation of butterflies and flowers in community gardens and public spaces throughout New York City. It encourages eco-friendly gardening and the use of native plants especially sunflowers. Members of the project include community gardeners from all over the New York City and many have embraced the idea of bringing sunflowers, butterflies and beauty to their neighborhoods. Butterflies & Sunflowers is a cooperative project run by people dedicated to improving their neighborhoods and organizations coming together to help the community.

Butterflies & Sunflowers is also a resource for the community. The project provides information, supplies and native plants for community gardeners and conducts free plant giveaways. Butterflies & Sunflowers helps create habitat friendly areas in community gardens called Butterfly (Bee) Parks (BP) that support important pollinators. This helps restore the ecological balance of the community as well as enhance the participation and knowledge of its community gardeners. Butterflies & Sunflowers looks to create wonderful oases within the community.

Want to start a Butterfly Garden of your own. For great information, go to Bronx Green Up’s A Beginner’s Guide to Butterfly Gardening.

Kevin Matteson took these photos in community gardens in 2005 and 2006.  Feel free to send us photos of your community garden especially if they include butterflies on flowers.


4 Responses

  1. […] Project Workshop and Native Plant Giveaway Join GreenThumb and the Butterfly Project in learning the importance of pollinators and how to use native plants to design gardens to nurture […]


  2. […] Project Native Plant Giveaway Join the Butterfly Project at the South Bronx Earth Fest Event to receive plants and information on how to start a butterfly […]


  3. iracharles says:

    Considering that I live in The Bronx, I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t yet visited the Butterfly Exhibits at the Bronx Zoo, not to mention the AMNH. I’ve been trying to make my Fire Island Garden more butterfly friendly by planting wildflowers including Milkweed. It worked. The Monarchs are fascinating from egg to larva to chryalsis to emerged adult. I’ll send some pictures of my garden to Kevin Matteson. This season I want to plant Parsley in hopes of attracting Black Swallowtails. NWF has a certificate worth earning for making your garden a backyard “wildlife habitat”.


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Bee proactive!

A few things you can do to help keep bees healthy:

  • plant different flowers that bloom throughout the season for the bees;

    • native plants and other perennials

    • bloom colors of yellow, white,  blue, and purple

  • watch for neonicotinoid-free note on plant tags- some tags will claim that insecticides were used for ‘your plant’s health’ (but NOT for the bees!)

  • leave the blossoms until they expire

  • plant plants with fragrant flowers with a long bloom season

  • consider early blooming plants for bees that have had little nourishment over the winter

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