“The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.”
― Wendell Berry
Our mission at Butterfly Effect is to create pollinator pathways by encouraging residents, businesses, and institutions to landscape with native perennial wildflowers. When you buy native plants from Butterfly Effect, you are doing more than beautifying your surroundings and supporting a local business: you are becoming a ‘community rewilder.’ Reintroducing native plants to the landscape is what community rewilding is all about. By becoming a community rewilder, you increase usable habitat for insects and birds.
Local butterflies, bees, and birds do not get everything they need to thrive from conventionally-landscaped yards dominated by non-native plant species. Adding native wildflowers to urban/suburban gardens has a restorative effect on our ecosystem. One garden makes a healthy refueling station for pollinators, several gardens in a neighborhood become nutritionally rich “pollinator pathways.” Butterfly Effect wants to make it easy for members of this community to add native plants to our ecosystem—to become rewilders—and to enjoy visits from butterflies, bees, and birds year after year, one garden at a time.
Butterfly Effect was started in 2020 by local birdwatcher and nature enthusiast, Jim Norwalk. Jim was born and raised in Buffalo, NY and he became a naturalist in the Pacific Northwest, where he studied at the Evergreen State College and worked as a wildlife biologist. Jim researched the population dynamics of Swainson's warblers in South Carolina for his graduate degree and obtained a Master's in Forestry from North Carolina State University.
Since moving to Geneva in 2007, Jim has worked as an Animal and Plant Care Specialist at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and has supported local conservation efforts through his participation in the Green Committee and the Shade Tree Committee. As Jim collected seeds and plants to build a wildlife-friendly habitat in his own home garden, he became aware of the need to increase community access to native plants. He hopes that Butterfly Effect will encourage more individuals to take the small steps needed to create pollinator pathways in the Finger Lakes.