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Coming together

Spring has finally arrived in Muskoka! All the snow is gone, the ice is pretty much gone from the nearby lakes and our creek is more like a river right now. I love seeing the buds appearing on the trees and new life springing up all over. Speaking of new life, I finally landed on a new name for The Butterfly Project. I present to you:

Butterfly Way Muskoka … you’re in good company.

Butterfly Way Muskoka is an emerging New Venture that is focused on coming alongside individuals and families who have experienced a crisis or trauma by offering them respite in a supportive, loving environment. By incorporating nature, animals, and art-making our goal is to restore calm and help begin the process of healing.

I’ve made some changes to my website, including a new URL, updated community resources, a new gallery of my artwork, and other minor updates throughout. The Butterfly Project is still active and will redirect folks for a while. We also have a new Facebook page and Instagram account! You can find us at or @butterflywaymuskoka. I invite you to give us a ‘Like’ so you can see pictures of and hear more about our progress as it happens.

Last weekend we had our first volunteer workday and it was awesome! The weather was really… BAD! No kidding, it rained and snowed and was cold! But we got more done than I thought we would and had fun doing it. It’s going to be one of those memories we laugh about when we look back years from now. Now we can start planning a few bigger jobs, like building a new bridge over the creek, building a tent platform for the site we cleaned up, building a bench swing, and doing some landscaping around the steps we put in.

It’s really starting to come together. In my last blog post, I promised I would say more about my idea behind the bunkies - the ones I hope and pray we’ll be building this summer.

I discovered a company called Bunkie Life because they were having a contest - a legit contest giving away their latest model. To get extra entries required learning a bunch about the company. They are based in Erin, Ontario, and really have an amazing story. Their tagline is “extra space for meaningful connection.” Of course, that really resonates with what we want to accomplish through Butterfly Way.

Right from the start, I have wanted to build a cabin. Sounds simple enough but is actually quite involved and expensive. I did some guesstimating and figure it could cost up to $100,000 to build a simple 2-3 bedroom cabin here. When I saw how some people had set up their bunkies, most don’t need a building permit and they can be built in one weekend for around $15,000 I thought maybe this was a better place to start. The thing is, the people who will come here for respite are probably more the outdoorsy type than the 5-star hotel with Egyptian cotton sheets type people (for the record, I really like 5-star hotels and Egyptian cotton too).

For a third of the cost of a cabin, we can build a bunkie with a loft for staying in, a studio bunkie for art and yoga, and a bathroom bunkie. To put it in perspective, my friend and Lead Pastor of Vox, Nathan Barnes, told me the church bought a truck (a long time ago now) for $30,000 simply to haul a trailer from the storage unit to United House in Barrie so they could provide mothers and their children with safe, hopeful housing. If in the next year or two we are able to help one or two families, it would be money well spent. And worst-case scenario, if we had to shut things down, the bunkies can be picked up, sold, and moved pretty easily. In case you’re wondering if that were to happen, everything belonging to the charity, including the bunkies, would be reinvested into another New Venture. Sounds like a win-win if there ever was one!

So that’s what we’re fundraising for! In the coming weeks, I will be finalizing partnership agreements, consulting with our tax lawyer, and thinking of some fun fundraising incentives so watch for those.

If you’re able to make a donation at this time, please visit and select my name from the dropdown. Thank you for your ongoing prayers and support! It's making a difference!

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