Tour the newly created pollinator garden route along the Niagara Parkway and learn more about incredible pollinating species, from bumblebees to hummingbirds, who, despite their small size, play a major role in maintaining our environment.
Building on its steadfast commitment to the environment and the preservation of the natural lands it is entrusted to protect, Niagara Parks today unveiled the first of 12 pollinator gardens, which are to be established along the Niagara Parkway, to support our rich ecosystem features that further define our sense of place and identity.
The pollinator gardens will range from formal manicured gardens to natural habitats, all providing support for a wide range of native pollinating species, many of which are considered at risk. Approximately 90% of the Earth’s flowering plants depend on pollinators to reproduce, representing the crucial role pollinating species play in maintaining our environment.
In total, over 15,000 locally sourced, native wildflowers and shrubs have been planted as part of this project. As well, 14 interpretive bilingual signs will be installed to identify each site, containing information about a certain type of pollinator, as well as references to various Indigenous myths, which offer wisdom concerning our connection to animals and our environment.
The content of the signage was inspired by the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (Iroquois), the Wabanaki Confederacy (Algonquin) and Anishnaabe (Algonquin), all of whom inhabited this area throughout history, and their spiritual connection with the animal kingdom. To honour this legacy and to celebrate Ontario150, the province’s sesquicentennial year, Niagara Parks has worked with local Indigenous artists and writers to develop a collection of animal legends and artwork that feature some of Ontario’s native species.
Developed in collaboration with the provincial government’s Ontario150 funding program, the pollinator gardens, as well as the installation of bilingual signage throughout the pollinator garden route, were established as part of Niagara Parks’ Rooted in Legacy initiative.
The pollinator gardens initiative aligns well with Niagara Parks many other environmental programs, including the Chippawa Grasslands Bird Habitat Management project, which will restore approximately 50 hectares (120 acres) of fallow former agricultural fields into native grassland habitat, as well as the Niagara River Coastal Wetland Restoration Project, which provides essential habitat to increase fish populations in the Niagara River. At Legends on the Niagara Golf Complex, a certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, a series of five pollinator gardens, as well as a pollinator meadow, have been created to sustain and enhance the important ecosystems and wildlife that make Legends their home.