Connaught Heights residents are helping the city to entice pollinators to their neighbourhood.
The City of New Westminster invited community members to don gardening gloves and to help plant a pollinator garden in a boulevard at London and 22nd streets on Saturday.
“We had a total of 25 volunteers that showed up on a rainy morning. It was off and on rain, drizzle and period of dry weather. It was a nice day, actually,” said Nell Gasiewicz, the city’s parksand open space planner. “It was a fun event.”
A mix of different pollinator species were planted in groups of three, but distributed in somewhat randomly, as research suggests that’s what pollinators prefer.
“We are looking at that, and we are going to be seeing how well it does and if it attracts pollinators, which (is what) we are hoping,” Gasiewicz said.
Bees, birds, bats and some insects are among the pollinators who move pollen from male structures of flowers to the female structure of the same plant species.
“Honey bees, as well as native pollinators, are having a rough go lately, so they are losing habitat, they are losing a source of nutrition,” Gasiewicz said. “One of the things that we are trying to do is to find opportunities to implement pollinator gardens through the city as a way to improve our urban ecosystem and the natural environment.”
Earlier this year, the city planted a pollinator garden in Sapperton Park and a meadow in Queen’s Park. The city is exploring partnerships with groups to implement more pollinator gardens throughout the city.
“With this one, there was a partnership with BC Hydro. We received a grant from BC Hydro Grassroots,” Gasiewicz said. “As well, we had a partnership with a Connaught Heights resident, Bob Petrusa, to implement this. He contributed some grant funding, as well, that he received. He did have a really big part in initiating and making the pollinator garden happen in Connaught Heights.”
If residents have garden space, Gasiewicz suggests they consider planting flowering plants that will support pollinators.
“It’s something that everyone can participate in and encourage a healthy ecosystem in our city,” she said.