by Renate Sander-Regier and Sandy Garland, photos by Amy MacPherson

Mayor Jim Watson proclaimed June 7 as Pollinator Appreciation Day 2019 at the Mayor’s Rural Expo last week.

Mayor Watson presented the city’s proclamation of Pollinator Appreciation Day to Holly Bickerton of Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) and Sandy Garland of the Fletcher Wildlife Garden, both members of the Wild Pollinator Partners network. L to R: Tessa and Rowan MacPherson, Councillor Eli El-Chantiry, Genevieve Leroux (advocate for Monarch butterflies), Mayor Jim Watson holding the proclamation, Sandy Garland, Councillor Keith Egli, Holly Bickerton and Carolyn Callaghan (both of the CWF), Councillor Scott Moffatt, and Councillor George Darouze.

As part of the ceremony, the mayor also opened City Hall’s new pollinator demonstration garden, complete with native plants and a bee hotel. Locally grown native plants from Ferguson Tree Nursery (Butterfly Weed, Lance-leaved Coreopsis, and others) were supplemented with a donation from the Fletcher Wildlife Garden (FWG): Pearly Everlasting, Rough-stemmed Goldenrod, New England Aster, Common Milkweed, Prairie Smoke, Wild Bergamot, and Blue Vervain.

In return, the FWG became the keeper of the proclamation, which is on display at its Resource Centre.

Wild Pollinator Partners was delighted to participate in this event and to contribute to the city’s promotion of our native pollinators. As the city says on its web site: “We need pollinators! Pollinators provide essential services to farmers, gardeners, and natural ecosystems. Globally, over 75 per cent of food crops depend on pollination by animals. Locally, our pollinators include hundreds of species of native bees, flies, butterflies and moths, beetles, ants and even some birds.”

Ottawa is encouraging residents to

  • Plant native wildflowers
  • Don’t tidy up too soon
  • Leave some areas of bare soil
  • Be knowledgeable when shopping for a commercially produced bee house
  • Become a citizen scientist

The city’s new pollinator garden is on the Lisgar Street side (south-facing side) of City Hall. Forestry contributed “stepping stones” made of slices of ash wood and the garden also features an insect hotel that Rowan (right, with her sister Tessa) helped to make.


Additions to the city’s pollinator garden, donated by the Fletcher Wildlife Garden.

Wild Pollinator partners also participated in the Rural Expo taking place in Jean Piggott Hall and on the Laurier side of City Hall the same day. We talked with a steady stream of visitors, all of whom were interested in helping pollinators. We gave some advice, learned some new information, gave away some seedlings, made some new connections, and generally had a great time.


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