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Riverside Lions Adopts and Raises Monarch Butterflies Summer 2016

Did you see any Monarch butterflies fluttering around this summer? If you did, there is a chance they were born and raised right here in St. Vital by the caring, nurturing, and very excited, seniors, youth volunteers and staff or Riverside Lions Seniors Residences.

As one part of our larger commitment to help support, protect and sustain a healthy local and global environment, staff and seniors of Riverside Lions are raising awareness Monarch butterflies, including the risks and needs they are currently encountering. Over the course of several months, we introduced Monarch butterflies into our community at various stage of life and development, watching them grow and evolve through various changes of life, from caterpillars through to becoming full adult butterflies. At the same time we developed various areas on our grounds to feed and support butterflies, planting many common feeding plants around our property and constructing a specific large butterfly garden area.

Riverside Lions would like to extend a special thank you to our special events organizer, Samantha Quiring and entomologist Taz Stuart from Poulins Pest Control for voluntarily helping our staff to properly and successfully prepare and required habitat and care of the butterflies we were entrusted with.

According to the World Wildlife, "The monarch butterfly goes through four stages in its life cycle: egg, caterpillar (larva), pupa (chrysalis) and butterfly. Once the eggs are laid, the species grows inside the egg for about four days. It then hatches into a caterpillar and feeds on the milkweed plant for about two weeks. The pupa lasts for about ten days and then hatches into a beautiful adult butterfly, whose lives for about 4-6 weeks, unless it is the late summer generation, which lives 6-7 months overwintering in Mexico.

Monarch butterflies are currently facing three major risks: illegal logging, lack of milkweed plants and climate change. WWF's 2013-14 report from Mexico showed that the number of monarch butterflies wintering there was at its lowest in 20 years. This finding was determined by measuring the amount of forest they occupy; in 2013, the number of butterfly acres decreased to 1.65 acres compared to 27.5 acres in 2003.

Monarchs need mountain forests in Mexico for their winter habitat, however nearby human communities also rely on them and create pressure on forests through agriculture and tourism activities. In Canada and the U.S., monarchs need places to reproduce and feed. Herbicide use is also decreasing the availability of their primary food source, the milkweed plant.

Climate change threatens to disrupt the monarch's annual migration pattern by affecting weather conditions both in wintering and summer breeding grounds.

For more information on Monarch Butterflies, their lifecycle, preferred habitats, migration and risks, please click here.

Riverside Lions
Written by Business View Magazine

Riverside Lions Estates and Riverside Lions Senior Residences are affordable, seniors housing facilities in the St. Vital area of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Both buildings were founded by the Riverside Lions Club, a 67-year member of Lions Club International, the world’s largest service organization, with more than 1.3 million members participating in 45,000 clubs, in over 200 countries.

Click here to read the full article.

Award for Excellence

Riverside Lions Seniors Residences and Louis Riel School Division Co-Operative Education Program had the honour of becoming the 2013 recipient of the Long Term & Continuing Care Association of Manitoba's Award for Excellence in Innovation/Vision/Leadership. This annual award is given to persons/organizations who "go above and beyond the call of duty", having "a positive effect on staff and/or residents/tenants by promoting and enhancing quality care, compassion, and respect for rights and dignity".

Riverside Lions Seniors Residences has partnered with various schools and programs within the Louis Riel School Division over the past 5 years, building intergenerational partnerships and programs. Together with youth, seniors, staff, volunteers, families and other supporters, we have gained a true appreciation of and commitment to the value of intergenerational partnerships and relationships. Efforts to diversify our community with intergenerational activities have created a much more authentic human environment that cultivates caring, mentorship and sharing. The relationships that are formed help to alleviate loneliness and isolation and promote personal growth by generating knowledge, purpose, and unconditional positive regard.

Intergenerational ProgrammingIntergenerational Programming

Thanks to the Government of Canada's New Horizon's Grant, Riverside Lions Seniors Residences and the Louis Riel School Division successfully launched a valuable and growing partnership in 2009 to promote and sustain intergenerational relationships, activities, and learning between our seniors and local high school students. The program continues to grow into 2011, with a number of both ongoing and new activities being planned to enrich the lives of students and seniors, their families, teachers and our staff.

Intergenerational ProgrammingIn support of our intergenerational programming and the positive impact students from the Louis Riel School Division have had in the daily lives of our seniors and our community, the Riverside Lions Club established an award in June 2010 acknowledging the valuable and exceptional contributions of our graduating students. Our first award recipient, Savannah, is pictured here with our Board Treasurer, our Tenant Association President and Savannah's mom and dad.


My Time at… Riverside Lions Estates

My name is Charity Hansen and I am a third year student at the Inner City Social Work campus. I have just completed my first 500 hour practicum at Riverside Lions Estates which was a fantastic experience for me. One of the most positive aspects of doing my practicum there was that I was given the freedom from my supervisors to do many things.

Some of the activities that I arranged for the older adults at Riverside Lions Estates included Senior Idol at the Club Regent Casino, and sharing groups where the residents brought pictures of themselves and their families to show other residents. In addition, my Field Focus course instructor, who was a torchbearer for the 2010 Olympics, brought his torch to Riverside to share with the older adults — it was a big hit!

(L to R): Student Charity Hansen, Instructor Sasha Kondrashov and Field Instructor Laura Devlin

When I first started my placement here, the other practicum students and I asked the residents if they felt there was something that we could do for them. One of them said that there were two computer labs in the building for them to use, but they had no idea how to operate them. So we started to assist some of the residents with learning how to use this technology. Some of them wanted to learn how to use Facebook; others, email; and still others, to play card games on the computer. In the process of helping to support and assist residents, I was provided with a full and rewarding opportunity for learning from my field instructors and from the people we were serving. For students interested in working with the older adult population, this practicum is for you!

Charity will be entering her second field placement this fall at Manitoba Youth Centre with Field Instructor Chris Sunde.

New 75 Suite Housing Complex

Sponsored by the Riverside Lions Club, our new 75 suite housing complex opened in the fall of 2008. The building is a welcomed addition to our existing residence, riverside lions estates (1984). Motivated by an existing 6 year wait list and by the need for more affordable and enriched housing for seniors, the Riverside Lions Club launched it's new housing project to assist seniors wanting and/or needing additional support services, such as meals and housekeeping, within their home environment.