Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

North End students dig butterfly garden

Pay-it-forward project sparks community pride

  • Print

Plants for the butterfly garden went in the ground and community spirit was in the air Monday in front of Michel Morin's building at 1261 Main St.

A group of 18 Grade 6 students from nearby Champlain School helped Morin, owner of North Winds property development, cap his two-part North End development initiative by assisting him in planting the butterfly-friendly plants.

Using the pay-it-forward concept, Morin began his plan to beautify the neighbourhood last month by landscaping the front of his own business while also tackling four others in the area at no charge.

The butterfly garden is located on his property but has a community-seating area.

"It's gone very well. The kids have done a great job here," said Morin, who dug holes as some students planted. "Look at these kids: They're having fun and they're making a difference. This is their community and now, when they're walking by here, I hope they have a sense of pride in how they helped make this happen."

"We're helping to beautify the area that we live in and I do like the fact that we're planting," said Shay-Ann Jolicoeur, 12. "I think I'm going to feel pretty excited to see this all finished and I'm going to tell my children one day that I did this."

Morin designed the garden and selected the plants with veteran gardener Leona Schroeder from the Manitoba Master Gardener Association, a non-profit group which volunteers their time to community-based projects.

Schroeder was on hand Monday to guide the students and assist in overseeing the planting.

Morin, who treated the students to a hotdog lunch when they were done, said his goal is to change attitudes toward the North End, starting with visual improvements and engaging students.

"It's special when you get a chance to help the community and make it look better," said Trent Runez, 12.

As the second part of his initiative, Morin presented the class with a $2,000 donation for them to "pay it forward" and help other projects needing assistance.

"There are a number of schools in the area, so it was very generous and we are so lucky that he chose our school for this project," said Grade 6 teacher Carleen Lewicki. "Our school does a lot of different philanthropy work, such as at Holy Family Nursing Home, and this is a very empathic group. Giving them this chance really reaffirms for them that there are good things that happen in the North End."

The class researched local charities and then voted to split the money four ways among the Children's Hospital, the Ladybug Foundation, Dreams Take Flight and the Children's Wish Foundation.

"I was really excited when he made the donation and I thought it was a really good idea to give it to four different charities," said Jolicoeur. "There was a lot of discussion and voting, but we chose them because they are children and they're just like us. They're children who need help in their day-to-day lives."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 11, 2013 B2

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Key of Bart: NDP Self-Destruction

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A Canada Goose cools off in a water pond Monday afternoon at Brookside Cemetary- See Bryksa’s Goose a day Challenge– Day 27-June 25, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project. Baby peregrine falcons. 21 days old. Three baby falcons. Born on ledge on roof of Radisson hotel on Portage Avenue. Project Coordinator Tracy Maconachie said that these are third generation falcons to call the hotel home. Maconachie banded the legs of the birds for future identification as seen on this adult bird swooping just metres above. June 16, 2004.

View More Gallery Photos


How would you vote on the Tories' upcoming non-confidence motion?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google