Local youth can help celebrate the Town of Collingwood becoming recognized as a Bee City Canada community by adding native pollinator plants to their own gardens!
Over the winter Pollinate Collingwood, Blue Mountain Watershed Trust, Environment Network, Collingwood BIA and staff from the Parks, Recreation and Culture Department put together a successful application for a Bee City Canada designation for the Town of Collingwood. A Bee City is part of a North American movement to support pollinator protection.
Pollinators, including bees, butterflies, beetles, flies and more, are important for supporting healthy environments and pollinating many of the fruits and vegetables that we eat. In addition to this, native plants, specifically, are host plants to specific bees and butterflies. Without their host plants being present, certain insect species would not be alive today.
For the application, a community must show evidence of past and current efforts to support pollinators, as well as educational opportunities for the community to learn about and how to support pollinators.
Past community successes include habitat rehabilitation with native trees, shrubs and plants, a Town pesticide bylaw in place prior to Ontario’s laws, creation of naturalized areas in local parks, natural landscaping courses, Gardening Action Kits, enerscaping workshops, native plant sales, summer camp programs focusing on native plants and pollinators, and the planting of 15 community Butterflyway gardens and nine school Butterflyway gardens under the David Suzuki Foundation.
A donation of $1,000 from Julie DiLorenzo will help to launch this year’s pollinator initiatives. The donation is going directly to our youth, inspiring them to learn about and plant native pollinator gardens! Courtesy of Ms. DiLorenzo, packets of a variety of native seeds will be made available to youth via the Collingwood Public Library’s 2021 Spring Break Kits, with kit pick up beginning Tuesday, April 6 (first come, first serve). The seed packets will also be available at upcoming pollinator events this spring. Each packet will come with planting instructions and images of the flowers.
Other initiatives this year include the Town planting pollinator gardens along St. Marie Street (south of Eddie Bush Arena) and at the Town welcome signs, BIA planting pollinator gardens in a variety of locations, a native tree and plant sale, a rain barrel event, and educational opportunities through Pollinate Collingwood, Environment Network, Blue Mountain Watershed Trust, Collingwood Museum, and the Collingwood Public Library.
Collingwood is now one of 32 Bee City Canada communities in Ontario.