The following sites, developed for various reasons, all provide valuable wild pollinator habitat. Visit them to see how people are supporting pollinators throughout the Outaouais-Ontario East region.
To include your community, school, or other public pollinator garden on our map, please send us its title, location, and a brief description – firstname.lastname@example.org
Behind Abbotsford Seniors' Centre, 950 Bank Street Show on Map
Volunteer Carol MacLeod takes care of pollinator beds on the Monk Street side of this seniors’ centre in the Glebe.
Allbirch Pollinator Garden
Allbirch Road, Constance Bay Show on Map
Hank and Vera Jones have tuned the front garden of their half-acre lot into a pollinator garden. In addition to perennials, it contains many fruit and nut trees. Their backyard is CWF-certified wildlife habitat. They also grow vegetables and salad greens in portable tables and enjoy foraging produce from the trees.
Hank recalls: “Launched in 2008, the APG started by “rewilding” the site – letting what was already there show its face; over a hundred plants did so. Ottawa By-Law did not approve. We spent the first year arguing that the city was already asking for such places, but their rules contradicted. We were finally vindicated. However, this contradiction has emerged repeatedly for others in the region seeking the same emancipation – victoriously in every case as I can recall.
“Advice: allow meadow patches to emerge and expand simply by progressively mowing less and less area until only pathways remain. This way, you will not attract the lightning, I expect.”
AVCA – Grasshopper Hill Park
Grasshopper Hill Park, Kilborn Avenue Show on Map
In Alta Vista, a group of volunteers led by Michelle St-Germain is battling Dog-strangling Vine in 5 areas and replacing it with native wildflowers, often grown by those volunteers. This patch is one of three in Grasshopper Hill Park.
Please see Dog-strangling Vine management project for more information.
AVCA – Pleasant Park at Lynda Lane
Pleasant Park at Lynda Lane Show on Map
In Alta Vista, a group of volunteers led by Michelle St-Germain is battling Dog-strangling Vine (DSV) in 5 areas and replacing it with native wildflowers, often grown by those volunteers. This pollinator patch is on Pleasant Park Road at the corner of Lynda Lane. The photo at the left was taken in 2023, after volunteers had removed hundreds of DSV plants.
Please see Dog-strangling Vine management project for more information.
AVCA – Wren’s Way at Wesmar
Wren's Way Park at Wesmar Show on Map
In Alta Vista, a group of volunteers led by Michelle St-Germain is battling Dog-strangling Vine in 5 areas and replacing it with native wildflowers, often grown by those volunteers. This patch is in Wren’s Way Park at the end of Wesmar Drive.
Please see Dog-strangling Vine management project for more information.
AVCA – Wren’s Way on Amberdale
Wren's Way on Amberdale Show on Map
In Alta Vista, a group of volunteers led by Michelle St-Germain is battling Dog-strangling Vine in 5 areas and replacing it with native wildflowers, often grown by those volunteers. This patch is in Wren’s Way Park near Amberdale.
Please see Dog-strangling Vine management project for more information.
Beaux Arbres Native Plants
29 Ragged Chute Road, Bristol, Quebec (4.5 km north of Highway 148) Show on Map
The native plant demonstration gardens at Beaux Arbres are alive with a wide variety of flowers and pollinators throughout the season. See over ten different types of plantings in diverse sites, including a woodland garden, rock garden, willow grove, dye garden, prairie meadow, and more.
Hampton Park, north entrance Show on Map
The Bee Spot opened in June 2023. Located in an Ottawa park, this 2-m2 demonstration garden includes about 50 plants, all native wildflower species. The garden shows others what they can grow in their own gardens, provides food and habitat for pollinating insects and birds, seeds for the future, and reduces unwanted plant species. All plants were grown from seed by Nepean High School ecology students, who also helped prepare the area and plant.
It also acts as a focal point for activities and events that highlight the need to protect and conserve all types and sizes of ecosystems.
See blog post about this project for details.
Contact person: Sharon Boddy: CarlingtonHampton@gmail.com
Brenda’s pollinator garden
Scott Street, Ottawa Show on Map
As Brenda MacKenzie describes it, “My crazy garden is an ordinary urban lot. I have Joe-Pye Weed, three kinds of milkweed, wild irises, native Cardinal Flower, echinacea, Beebalm, and old-fashioned tall zinnias, all of which attract bees and butterflies. The bees in the yard are pretty clearly some variety of carpenter bee. There are other species too, but there are hundreds of carpenter bees. Our neighbour had to cut down a large dying maple and had a lot of the wood stacked in his yard. This may be providing the habitat for the wild bees.
“We have included more native plants in recent years, installed a disappearing stream, have been using no pesticides, and have composted avidly for 30 years. The results were not instant, but we have all manner of visitors — bees, songbirds, dragonflies, and butterflies, including red and white admirals, black swallowtails, and monarchs. All of these come and go depending on what is blooming.”
Brewer Pond, Old Ottawa South, Ottawa Show on Map
In 2015, the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority had an opportunity to open up Brewer Pond and reconnect it with the Rideau River. Once a series of islands, the pond was created artificially to serve as a swimming beach in the early 1960s. Only a few years later, it was closed permanently to swimming because of water pollution. Almost 30 years later, the local community entered into an agreement with the city to naturalize the area.
The move to reconnect the pond with the river allowed fish, beavers, and turtles to move freely between them. At the same time, extensive planting of native species – wildflowers, shrubs, and trees – occurred all around the pond.
The photo at the right shows the pond in August – filled with white water lilies (a favourite of resident beavers) and blue Pickerel Weed in the foreground. The pond is surrounded by Swamp Milkweed, Monkeyflower, Blue Flag, Jerusalem Artichoke, Meadowsweet, Joe-Pye Weed, and other native wildflowers, Big Bluestem and Indian Grass, as well as sedges, rushes, and numerous non-native species, such as Stinging Nettle. Shrubs include Red Osier Dogwood, Buttonbush, and Highbush Cranberry. Silver Maples, and several species of willows were also planted in 2015.
No planting is required here, but the Enviro Crew of Old Ottawa South attempts to control invasive species, such as Wild Parsnip, Common Burdock, Dog-strangling Vine, Garlic Mustard, Phragmites, and European Buckthorn, and protect the area from too much “traffic.”
Brewer Pond butterfly meadow
100 Brewer Way, Ottawa Show on Map
At Brewer Pond, the butterfly meadow began as an experiment to find plants that can compete with Dog-strangling Vine. We knew goldenrods and Purple-flowering Raspberry could do that, but we’ve added asters, hyssop, yarrow, and bergamot in the sunny field that used to be a parking lot. In the shade, we’re trying White Snakeroot, Zigzag Goldenrod, Giant Yellow Hyssop, and Ostrich Fern.
East side of Bronson Avenue between the canal and the Rideau River Show on Map
Residents of Old Ottawa South are turning a strip of mowed grass into an urban meadow and forest filled with a diversity of trees, shrubs, grasses, and flowers that support pollinators and other beneficial insects.
See blog post: Bridge-to-bridge community reforestation project
Brighton Beach Park Show on Map
They chose a variety of common local wildflowers and shrubs, planting them in clusters. They added a generous number of rocks, logs, and stumps to create microclimates for the plants, then topped it all with mulch to hold in water.
See blog post: Brighton Beach Park mini-meadows
Canadian Wildlife Federation
350 Michael Cowpland Drive, Kanata Show on Map
The CWF includes a pollinator bed among its many demonstration gardens, complete with a plant list. An interactive map on its web site allows you to click on each plant for photos and more information.
Canadian Wildlife Federation Monarch recovery project 1
Christie Lake Road, Lanark County Show on Map
The Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF), in partnership with the National Capital Commission, Hydro One, and Lanark County, is testing whether the creation of native meadows along roadsides and rights‐of‐way can successfully control Wild Parsnip, while restoring Monarch butterfly habitat and reducing management costs.
Right‐of‐way corridors that are restored for Monarch butterflies will be used as a nursery for caterpillars, fuel for the long journey of the adults, and rest stops along the way. They will also be beautiful sites to behold for Monarch lovers across the province.
Canadian Wildlife Federation Monarch recovery project 2
Fallbrook Road, Lanark County Show on Map
Second CWF test site
Canadian Wildlife Federation Monarch recovery project 3
Riverside Drive Show on Map
Third CWF test site
Canadian Wildlife Federation Monarch recovery project 4
Greens Creek Show on Map
This CWF test site is between the Sir George Étienne Parkway and the Ottawa River near Green’s Creek. A patch the size of a football field was plowed several times to break up sod, then seeded with a mix of wildflowers and grasses: Virginia Wildrye (Elymus virginicus), Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardi), Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), and Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans); Joe-Pye Weed (Eupatorium maculatum), Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale), Evening-primrose (Oenothera biennis), Brown-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), Virginia Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum virginianum), and many others; and millet to help support initial growth.
See blog post Creating pollinator habitat from scratch
Champlain Park pollinator garden
Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway at Champlain Park Show on Map
Champlain Park’s pollinator garden is part of a larger plan to rehabilitate a stretch of woodland along the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway. The Environment Committee of the Champlain Park Community Association is spearheading this work. They’ve mobilized volunteers to help bring a variety of native plants into the public woodlands and residential area.
As described in the 2020 annual report, “Specific activities related to this project include planting native trees, shrubs and spring ephemeral and summer flowering plants in small, compact areas cleared of non-native invasive vegetation. Funding was provided by local residents and the City of Ottawa Community Environmental Projects Grant Program.”
Churchill Alternative School
Churchill Alternative School Show on Map
In April 2019, the school council asked Berit Erickson to help creat a butterfly garden at her son’s elementary school, Churchill Alternative School. Each spring, it was enthusiastically planted, but struggled on its own after the student gardeners left for the summer. A low-maintenance, mostly-native perennial garden would be a perfect replacement.
According to Berit, “My first task was to come up with a list of suitable butterfly plants for this sunny, dry location. We needed two kinds: nectar-rich flowers to feed adult butterflies and host plants to feed their caterpillars.” See her blog post:
City Hall pollinator garden
111 Lisgar Street, Ottawa Show on Map
This small raised garden on the Lisgar Street side of City Hall was created in 2019 just in time for Pollinator Appreciation Day on June 7.
The following plants were ordered from Ferguson Forest Tree Nursery: Butterfly Weed (12), Blazing Star (14), and Lance-leaved Coreopsis (16). The Fletcher Wildlife Garden contributed New England Aster, Pearly Everlasting, Wild Bergamot, Blue Vervain, Prairie Smoke, Rough Goldenrod, and Common Milkweed. A rose was already growing in the bed along with various grasses. A barrel in the centre contains horticultural varieties, such as petunias, geraniums, and salvia.
A small insect hotel was mounted on the wall at the back of the garden. By 19 July 2019, it was clearly being used.
For more, see blog posts:
Clyde Bee & Butterfly Patch
Clyde Avenue at Castle Hill Show on Map
Clyde Bee & Butterfly Patch is an effort to make use of a rather inhospitable (for plants) but public space along the shoulder of the road and near an entrance to the multi-use path in Carlington Woods where lots of people pass to take their dogs for walks or just bike or walk themselves.
Goldenrod, asters, and sumac were all growing there already making it quite lovely in the fall but it was not offering any food for pollinators in spring or summer. We started a lot of plants by seed and have gratefully received a few donations. The plants were selected to be suitable for a sunny location with poor, dry soil. With watering to get them through the hot dry June and July, we have managed to keep most of them going and a few are starting to flower.
The site is landscaped to include habitat structures in the form of logs, tree stumps, an artificial mud puddle and a water dish. There is signage to help explain what the purpose of it is and to identify it.
Anyone is welcome to visit it on their own or contact me, Nora Lee, via email@example.com
Corner Pollinator Garden
Fraser at Sherbourne Show on Map
Last spring, Berit Erickson turned a front yard, on a busy urban corner, into a pollinator garden. Because so many people stop by while she is working in the garden, she created a brochure full of great tips and information about what she is doing. Berit kindly shared a copy with us.
Web site: cornerpollinatorgarden.net
Brochure: Create your own pollinator garden
Dalhousie South Park
Dalhousie South Park Show on Map
Overcoming shortage of space, a shady location, and miles of “red tape,” the Glebe Annex Community Association established a pollinator garden in Dalhousie South Park on Bell Street. Plants include Zigzag Goldenrod, White Snakeroot, Yellow Giant Hyssop, Honewort, Anise Hyssop, Golden Alexanders, and Virgin’s Bower Clematis.
In July 2021, GACA president Sue Stefko says, “So far, it seems that insects of the chewing kind are enjoying the garden more than insects of the buzzing kind, but we’re starting to see some of the flowers peek out, and we’re hopeful that the plants can grow and get stronger before they are totally devoured.”
Faith communities (Faith and the Common Good partners)
Faith & the Common Good (FCG) is a national environmental NGO that works with faith and spiritual communities in their efforts to become more “ecological.” The local Ottawa FCG chapter has been promoting sustainable and ecological gardening for the past few years and was thrilled to partner up with Wild Pollinator Partners to support pollinators and add more native plants to the following gardens.
FCG – All Saints Anglican Church
Richmond Road, Westboro, Ottawa Show on Map
All Saints Anglican Church in Westboro designed a shady courtyard garden that has become a community amenity along Richmond Road where many people enjoy sitting on the benches and relaxing by the garden beds. Here, Pearly Everlastings have been added along with Spotted Beebalm and other native flowers.
FCG – Canadian Martyrs Catholic Church
Main Street, Ottawa East Show on Map
Official pollinator garden on site.
FCG – Holy Cross Catholic Church
Walkley Road, Ottawa Show on Map
FCG – Kitchissippi United Church
Island Park Drive, Ottawa Show on Map
FCG – Knox Presbyterian Church
Elgin at Lisgar Show on Map
Added to our downtown pollinator survey in 2019. A courtyard off Elgin Street is a green oasis where shrubs, perennials, and Winston the Groundhog live.
FCG – Orleans United Church
Orléans Boulevard, Orleans, Ottawa Show on Map
Orleans United Church, on Orleans Blvd close to Bilberry Creek, is situated on an extensive lot with a tree-lined entrance and various garden beds on all sides of the church. Their new biodiversity prayer garden will include Grey-headed Coneflowers, asters, Yarrow, and Golden Alexander, and they have also added some native shade plants to their current beds.
FCG – Sheng Shen Catholic Church
Michael Street, Ottawa Show on Map
Sheng Shen Catholic Church, on Michael Street near St. Laurent mall, wanted to add some pollinator plants to support their community garden and prayer space. Their additions include Wild Bergamot, Yarrow, and Grass-leaved Goldenrod.
FCG – St. Barnabas Anglican/Catholic Church
James Street, Centretown, Ottawa Show on Map
St. Barnabas Church on James Street is a downtown property with some beautiful ornamental garden beds along the sidewalk. It provides lovely colour along a busy city street, and they have now added asters, Black-eyed Susans, Cup-plants, and other natives.
FCG – St. Basil’s Catholic Church
Rex Avenue, Ottawa Show on Map
St. Basil’s parishioners have turned a median in their parking lot into a flower oasis – although not all native plants – and are revitalizing a second spot by the church entrance.
FCG – St. Columba Anglican Church
Sandridge Road, Ottawa Show on Map
St. Columba Anglican Church, on Sandridge Road in Manor Park, is close to the Aviation Parkway and has a large property shaded in the front by maple trees. Heart-leaved Asters and native Columbines have been placed in the shady garden beds.
Volunteers are working toward creating a pollinator meadow.
FCG – St. Luke’s Anglican Church
Somerset Street West, Ottawa Show on Map
FCG – St. Martin’s Anglican Church
Prince Charles Road, Ottawa Show on Map
FCG – St. Matthew’s Anglican Church
First Avenue, Ottawa Show on Map
First Avenue Public School
First Avenue Public School Show on Map
Started in 2019 in planters, but also an “empty” space between the playground and street.
Contact: Catherine Hall (teacher)
Fletcher Wildlife Garden
Prince of Wales Drive just south of the Dominion Arboretum Show on Map
- Demonstration pollinator gardens in a box (at northeast corner of the Old Field habitat)
- Butterfly Meadow
- Backyard Garden (photo below)
Contact person: Sandy Garland firstname.lastname@example.org
Flutter and Buzz Pollinator Patch
Stonecrest Park, Barrhaven Show on Map
Flutter and Buzz Pollinator Patch is in a city park next to a playground and Adrienne Clarkson Elementary School. It was started and is maintained by residents in the surrounding neighbourhood, especially Clare and her husband. It provides a learning site for the adjacent school to promote understanding, conservation and appreciation of nature.
In 2019, the garden was doing so well, Clare had Swamp Milkweeds to give away. She traded with the Fletcher Wildlife Garden for some earlier-blooming wildflowers – Prairie Smoke and Tall Cinquefoil – to put in the new bed in the centre of the circular garden.
Contact person: Clare
Forest Garden Friends
Pleasant Park near Alta Vista Show on Map
From Sarah M.L. Walker: Our garden is a food forest, with domesticated edibles intermingled with (sometimes edible to humans) native species. Our property is large and the pollinator plants are distributed throughout.
Each year I try to add new native, pollinator and wildlife-friendly plants. I’m also planning to grow extra native pollinator plants to share with others in my neighbourhood and help them get started on their own pollinator gardens.
I am also part of the Suzuki Foundation’s Butterflyway project, and I’ll be offering tours of the property.
Frank Street pollinator beds
Frank Street, between Bank and O'Connor Show on Map
Carlos Murray has been adding pollinator plants to the raised garden beds along Frank Street between Bank and O’Connor in downtown Ottawa. This season he received donations from Nora Lee (Clyde Bee & Butterfly Patch) and the Fletcher Wildlife Garden.
Carlos’s style is to include a variety of grasses – and a few common “weeds” – to create natural structure and support for the native wildflowers.
Next time you’re at Staples, take a minute to check out these evolving street beds.
Frederick Banting Alternative High School
Main Street, Stittsville Show on Map
Started in 2019.
Contact: Janet Perry (teacher)
Friends of Lanark County roadside wildflowers
County Road 12 (Macdonald's Corners Road) between Lanark and Elphin Show on Map
Friends of Lanark County are using the province’s Adopt-a-Road program to prevent roadside spraying of herbicides to control Wild Parsnip. Concerned over the health of native insects and anxious to preserve wildflowers along local roads, this group of “mostly seniors” is manually removing Wild Parsnip and planting native species both purchased and donated.
They are very disturbed by the increase in roadside spraying to deal with invasives and want to reach out and educate others about taking a more cautious and reasoned approach.
For more about this issue, please see
Friends of Petrie Island wildflower garden
Turtle Trail, Petrie Island Show on Map
Throughout the seasons, flowering flora (plants and shrubs) are marked with informational signage that provides details on the species and its ecological, medicinal and edible properties. In May 2018, Petrie Island became a registered Monarch waystation.
Glebe school garden
Glebe Collegiate Institute, Glebe Avenue, Ottawa Show on Map
This garden was created through a partnership between the Glebe Community Association Parks Committee, Glebe Collegiate’s environmental club, and the Ontario Nature Youth Council. It contains a variety of native perennials and a bee bath.
See news story about the project: Glebe’s abuzz (Glebe Report, August 16, 2018, page 36)
Just Food Farm
2391 Pepin Court, in the Greenbelt near Blackburn Hamlet Show on Map
“Started in 2012, the Just Food Farm is where people and projects come together to model and inspire small-scale, viable agriculture businesses and initiatives in the Ottawa region.” Weedy fields and edges provide habitat for native pollinators and the farm created a pollinator hotel at a recent workshop.
Kanata North Pollinator Patch
Hydro corridor at Abbeydale Circle Show on Map
Kanata North Regeneration Stewards have just completed (in September 2023) a new large pollinator patch in the Morgan’s Grant area of the hydro corridor. At more than 100 m2, it is difficult to capture a single image of the garden. Click on image at right for larger view.
The Kanata North Pollinator Patch is currently heavily mulched to protect the seedlings from the heat wave and aggressive perennial weeds.
If you stop by the garden just south of Klondike at Abbeydale Circle anytime soon, you’ll see oats popping up in various places. They serve as a cover/nurse crop for the native wildflower seeds to be sown after the first hard frost.
See KN Regeneration Stewards for more about volunteering.
Lajoie/Jeanne-Mance city planters
Lajoie/Jeanne-Mance city planters Show on Map
Landscapes of Canada Gardens
Just west of the Canadian Museum of Nature Show on Map
This outdoor space at the CMN features native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers found in Canada’s boreal forest, Arctic tundra, and prairie grasslands. Although not created for pollinators, the prairie garden, in particular, attracts a number of bees, butterflies, flies, and other insects.
Lansdowne ethno-botanic and demonstration gardens
East side of the Horticulture Building, Lansdowne Park Show on Map
Raised garden beds next to the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park attract a variety of pollinators. They are intended to be educational demonstration beds designed to highlight food production, Ottawa’s horticultural heritage, and a sampling of other garden experiences that exist in Ottawa. The side benefit of growing both vegetables and flowers is that the garden attracts a large variety of pollinators and birds and demonstrates that a wide diversity of plants can be grown in raised beds.
Library street garden
Ottawa Public Lirary, Sunnyside Branch, 1049 Banks Street Show on Map
In 2018, the Dreamers planted a number of native wildflowers including Pearly Everlasting (front of photo), New England Asters, Joe-Pye Weed, bergamot, and others, in the large garden bed between the sidewalk and parking lot next to Sunnyside branch of the Ottawa Public Library.
Lisgar school garden
Lisgar Collegiate Institute, Lisgar Street, Ottawa Show on Map
This garden includes both vegetable and pollinator beds, with a variety of species that are both native to Ontario and pollinator-friendly. It is maintained by student and staff volunteers.
Initially planned to produce local organic food for the school’s culinary program, the students soon realized they had to increase habitat for pollinators. Education is a big component of this project. Participants are learning as it evolves and reaching out to art, photography, biology, and health programs. The Lisgar Environmental Action Force (LEAF) is working toward making Lisgar a “bee school.”
Macoun Marsh Study Area
Southeast corner of Beechwood Cemetery, off St Laurent Blvd Show on Map
Located at the corner of Beechwood Cemetery, this natural area is maintained by volunteers, including many school children, under the leadership of science teacher Michael Léveillé. Many species of wild pollinators have been observed there.
Maplelawn Historic Garden
529 Richmond Road, Ottawa Show on Map
Hydro corridor on both sides of Brady Avenue Show on Map
Initiated by the Ottawa Stewardship Council (OSC), the Briarbrook and Morgan’s Grant Community Associations, Hydro One, and the City of Ottawa via former councillor Marianne Wilkinson are working to make this part of a hydro corridor into a haven for pollinators. According to an OSC representative, this is a win-win-win situation:
- The community gets a beautiful green space that is an asset to the neighbourhood, invites people to walk its paths, and provides an opportunity for learning about the environment and connecting with nature.
- Hydro One gets a corridor that won’t require costly maintenance to keep the land clear beneath the power lines.
- In place of a corridor filled with invasive species, Nature gets a meadow of native plants for pollinators that supports bees, butterflies, other insects, birds, and humans.
A great model for other communities!
For more about this project
- Morgan’s Grant greenspace revitalization on the OSC web site
- Morgan’s Grant hydro corridor on the BMGCA web site
- Summer report for 2020
Photos from August 2022
MTN – École Marius Barbeau
École Marius-Barbeau, Notting Hill Avenue, Ottawa Show on Map
As part of a Monarch Teachers’ Network (MTN) project to establish Monarch Waystations at schools across the city, this garden was started in 2012-13. It’s very small garden, under 200 square feet, but contains water features, a central path, small raised beds in the larger area, many, many colourful flowers, and lots of love.
In January 2019, we were pleased to hear from Katherine Hayashi, a teacher at this school: “I am very proud to say that my school garden at Marius-Barbeau is going strong. I found caterpillars for the first time last summer.”
Photo journal: École Marius-Barbeau
MTN – Hilson Outdoor Classroom
Hilson Avenue Public School, Hilson Avenue, Ottawa Show on Map
Although this garden started modestly, at less than 200 square feet, it has grown as students and teachers use and appreciate it. In 2018, a teacher who was just learning about gardening and native plants contacted the Fletcher Wildlife Garden, which followed up with a site visit, advice, and the addition of more plants.
The garden is arranged in raised boxes that contain a number of Common Milkweed plants. In 2018, students added Butterfly Weed, Wild Bergamot, Beebalm, Columbine, Lance-leaved Coreopsis, and False Sunflower.
MTN – Mariposa Haven, Pakenham
Pakenham Public School, Pakenham, Ontario Show on Map
The garden is a raised bed of about 300 square feet, next to the Pakenham Public School, where it has good drainage and gets a lot of light.
According to the management plan document, “The school has always had a very active gardening community. We are located in the country surrounded by farming families, and students that are very involved and interested in gardening. We currently have 2 gardens at the front of the school, a large garden on the side of the school, and some smaller gardens in the back where the students can rest and enjoy the plants and flowers. Our goal with this funding would be to enhance one of the gardens at the front of the school to its former glory, and use plants that would attract monarchs.”
Photo journal: Pakenham Public School butterfly garden
MTN – Neighbours and Nature Ensemble
Terry Fox Park, Orleans Show on Map
Because it’s in a city park, many people were involved and “it was complicated.” The garden is planted in a circle, about 38 feet in diameter for a total of about 300 square feet. Residents, local schools, city staff, and of course teachers from the MTN were all involved in planning, planting, and maintenance. Local schools have been inspired by this garden to create their own garden or waystation.
Photo journal: Neighbours and Nature Ensemble: a community garden project
MTN – Trillium’s Butterfly Hotel
Trillium Elementary School, Varennes Blvd, Orleans Show on Map
As part of a Monarch Teachers’ Network (MTN) project to establish Monarch Waystations at schools across the city, this garden was started in 2012-13. It’s small – about 300 square feet in raised boxes – but was planted with 3 milkweed species plus annual nectar flowers like zinnia, and native perennials like Beebalm and Joe-Pye Weed.
Children in the child care and kindergarten groups helped build and decorate the boxes, plant, and water.
“Our goal for the garden is to not only create a butterfly waystation but to beautify our yard, get our parents and school involved, and have lots of fun doing it.”
The children made a photo journal to remember the beginnings of this garden: The making of Trillium’s Butterfly Hotel: a photo journal
Native plant demonstration garden
Princess Margaret Park, Kinnear Street, Ottawa Show on Map
Created and maintained by volunteers from the Civic Hospital neighbourhood
After the spring tulips fade, plants native to Eastern Ontario dominate the garden in the northeast part of Princess Margriet Park (formerly Fairmont Park). This garden was created to show off the beauty of easy-to-grow native plants. They’re also the kind of plants that attract birds and pollinators.
Native plants are those that occur naturally in a region. They are well adapted to the local climate and will provide a natural habitat for many species of animals and birds. Because of patches of native plants, like this one in Princess Margriet Park, you can expect to see more wildlife in the park. Be on the lookout for birds, insects, and maybe small mammals that will find food, protection, and nesting sites here.
Non-native species, on the other hand, can be invasive and may alter the ecosystem of an area. They are known to crowd out native plants. And local animals, unfamiliar with the foreign plants, don’t recognize these plants for food or shelter.
Pinhey Sand Dunes
Slack Road, east of Woodroffe Show on Map
Biodiversity Conservancy International (BCI) is an Ottawa-based non-profit, which is doing habitat restoration in the Greenbelt. Historically, Pinhey Sand Dunes was a vast open sand dune and meadow habitat until it was planted with pine trees in the 1950s. BCI is bringing back the open dune habitat to protect the rare species that rely on this environments.
Their focus is on reintroducing pollinator-friendly native species and butterfly host plants interspersed in the sand. Their current plan is to create suitable habitat for the reintroduction of the Mottled Duskywing butterfly to Eastern Ontario in the next few years.
See the blog post about the WPP tour of the dunes: Visiting Pinhey Sand Dunes
Rideau Environmental Action League (REAL)
William Street, Smith's Falls, Ontario Show on Map
- Critical habitat for the at-risk monarch butterflies: milkweed host plants for breeding stage, other colourful native nectar plants for feeding
- Habitat for other pollinators: other butterfly species, birds, bees, and insects.
- Visually attraction to human residents and tourists
- Demonstration of what others can do on their own properties to enhance the local monarch population
- An ongoing support to monarch populations in coming years
- Legacy project for REAL’s 30th anniversary
Website: Monarch Garden
Contact: Barb Hicks
Rideau Community Hub, Saint Laurent Boulevard Show on Map
In 2022, the Ottawa Wildflower Seed Library (OWSL) entered into an agreement with the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre (RRCRC) to plant a pollinator strip along the side of the old Rideau High School building. The RRCRC is a community hub and has good OC Transpo access. The centre’s services are for residents of Rideau-Rockcliffe ward, but as with all community centres, the building and grounds are open to the public.
Social Harvest prepared two long garden strips along the former school walls and the Fletcher Wildlife Garden donated plants to fill them.
See blog post: OWSL demonstration beds
Riverview Park Pollinator Garden
Hospital Link Rd, near Riverview Park Show on Map
In October 2022, the Friends of Riverview Park Green Spaces and a group of volunteers planted over 370 pollinator seedlings of 25+ species of sun-loving, mostly native, perennial flowers and grasses in a 6 by 12-m oval garden. The project was funded as part of a 2021 federal Healthy Communities grant. The garden is located on City of Ottawa land that our community association stewards near the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and the Ottawa Hospital – General campus. Seeds came from the Ottawa Wildflower Seed Library, the Fletcher Wildlife Garden, and some local volunteers and were mostly started under lights.
We were amazed at how well the plants came through their first winter and how full the garden was even in its first year. Lots of pollinators visited flowers from June through October, and birds visited seed heads in the fall. You can find the garden just off the Hospital Link Rd (follow the path from the crosswalk 300 m east of Alta Vista Drive) or park in Riverview Park and follow the path from the end of Knox Cr. near Cluny Street.
Selby Plains/Atlantis Pollinator Garden
Selby Avenue at Atlantis, Sir John A. MacDonald Parkway Show on Map
Dave Adams, who takes care of the winter trail along the Sir John A. MacDonald Parkway, started a pollinator garden this summer (2020). Removing invasive buckthorn trees was difficult, but the hardy native species and other wildflowers he is planting are flourishing.
This project is sponsored by the Westboro Beach Community Association in consultation with the National Capital Commission.
Sugar Bush Road pollinator plant pilot project
Sugar Bush Road, Pakenham Show on Map
In May 2019, Scott Sigurdson and his neighbours on Sugar Bush Road near Pakenham, Ontario, set out to restore pollinator habit along 2 km of this country road. They seeded with a legume mix – clover, alfalfa, and vetch. Then added a variety of wildflower seeds later in early summer.
Wild Parsnip is a problem in this area, and the volunteers are pulling it out by hand, as they want to keep the road free of herbicides.
For more information and photos, see the project’s Facebook page.
See our blog post about the project: Roadside pollinator habitat – Sugar Bush Road
Trinity Youth Wildlife Garden
Richardson Side Road, Carp, Ontario Show on Map
Established in 2015, the Trinity Presbyterian pollinator garden in Kanata is home to native plants that provide nectar and pollen to beneficial insects and birds. The church’s youth group was inspired to start the garden and led the design and implementation with the support of the congregation. The youth group and the congregation maintain this pollinator garden.