The Urban Butterfly Initative is about more than just butterflies. We are also about communities, about science, and about the environment.
Overview of UBI
The Urban Butterfly Initiative is a 501(c3)/509(a2) community service organization that provides expertise and guidance to public and private partners who seek to increase biodiversity, beauty, and scientific awareness in their communities. UBI encourages the modification of existing urban green spaces to create beautiful butterfly-friendly habitats, making them more ecologically functional, while also generating the benefits of urban beautification, tourism, education, and science. Our low-cost, low-maintenance butterfly landscapes beautify communities, increase biodiversity and conservation, create engagement and educational experiences, and provide science and research opportunities.
Although native plants are emphasized, our general design theme is not “wild-looking,” but instead we establish attractive, ecologically-sound landscapes that inspire visitors and integrate educational opportunities.
UBI uses butterflies as ambassadors to nature, providing an approachable, fascinating, and beautiful link between people and the environment.
The 3 Facets of UBI
Biodiversity & Conservation
By providing habitat to support populations of butterflies and other animals, UBI projects help make our communities part of the solution for stemming the loss of biodiversity.
Engagement & Education
Butterflies are beautiful, charismatic, and harmless creatures, making them a great 'gateway animal' to encourage people of all ages to be interested in, and care about, the natural world. And because their caterpillars feed on plants, butterflies offer a great model to demonstrate the importance of diverse food webs to a healthy, functioning ecosystem. We provide resources (such as our butterfly guide) and information on social media, and in presentations, to help community members increase their knowledge and awareness and make these connections.
Science & Research
The butterfly 'hotspots' UBI creates provide opportunities for scientific studies on butterfly populations as well as studies investigating the role nature plays in the health and well-being of people and their communities. Whenever possible, we involve community members in the collection of these data.