by Christy Sebastian
Our New Pollinator Gardens
What do Humans, Bees, Butterflies, and Hummingbirds have in common? They all need a home!
Pollinators are an at-risk population of different species that help plants produce seeds, fruits, and new plants, which aid food production for our communities, as well as contribute to our natural environment and the overall biodiversity of our planet.
Toronto is home to a variety of pollinators like bees, wasps, flies, butterflies, and birds. Habitat loss, pesticide use, and the effects of climate change are just some of the reasons why Toronto’s pollinator population is currently under threat. To help support our pollinator friends, this summer, with the support of the City of Toronto’s PollinateTO program, we created three Pollinator Gardens at Rose Avenue Junior Public School, Winchester Junior and Senior Public School, and Spruce Court Public School.
So, what are Pollinator Gardens exactly?
Pollinator Gardens are habitats that help protect and support pollinator populations by providing food sources, nesting, and overwintering sites, as well as acting as larval host plants. Creation of Pollinator Gardens is an important strategy in strengthening and supporting local pollinator populations within our city. So, this summer, we helped do just that!
How did we start our Pollinator Garden?
We worked to incorporate a wide variety of native pollinator friendly plants into three of our already existing school gardens. When picking a spot to plant, we picked areas that were easily accessible and clear to see from the outside of the garden. We also used native plants specifically because they are resilient and are easy to establish in our city. Some of the plants that you will find in our pollinator are Black Eyed Susans, Gayfeathers, Golden Alexanders and of course Butterfly Milkweed. We choose a mix of plants that bloom between spring, summer, and fall, so that the pollinator garden is active throughout the entire growing season.
This addition to our gardens will not only provide a home for Toronto pollinators, but it will also offer local community members and students the opportunity to learn about and interact with pollinators and the work that they do for the environment. From social media content, to educational videos and student programming, as the garden continues to grow and establish, and depending on COVID-19 restrictions, we hope to create a variety of learning experiences that will allow students to immerse themselves in this new garden addition.
If you are interested and would like more information about the plants we included in our Pollinator Gardens and Toronto pollinators, please follow the link below for more resources.
Thank you for supporting Green Thumbs and the work we do! Here’s our video!