Pollination Guelph Plants First Hectare of the Eastview Landfill Pollinator Park
Planting comes after years of planning, fundraising, and site preparation
Pollination Guelph has embarked on the largest planting project in the history of their organization: the first hectare of their long-awaited Pollinator Park will be seeded on Thursday, September 19 between 11:30am and 1pm.
The Pollinator Park is located on the former 45-hectare (112-acre) Eastview Landfill property, owned by the City of Guelph and bordered by Speedvale Avenue to the north, Watson Road to the east, and Eastview Road to the south. It is adjacent to the newly opened Eastview Community Park and the Eastview Landfill Gas Energy Plant. It will feature species of flowering plants and grasses native to southern Ontario that are known to be pollinator-friendly, such as big bluestem, coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, milkweeds, round-headed bush clover, Canada tick-trefoil, Indian grass, and more. These plantings will replace the non-native species that have colonized the site since the landfill was decommissioned in 2003.
Pollinators are the animals that help more than 80% of all flowering plants reproduce through a process known as pollination. They primarily include bees, flies, butterflies, moths, beetles, and hummingbirds, and their daily work is essential for one of out every three bites of food we eat. Unfortunately, pollinator populations have declined drastically in recent years due to habitat loss, pesticide use, diseases and parasites, and climate change.
Over the coming months the seed planted in the first hectare, visible from the sports fields and parking lot of the Community Park, will germinate. The first flowers should appear next summer, with the majority of the bloom occurring in 2015. The second phase of the project, a two hectare expansion, is expected to be planted in fall 2014.
This first phase of the project has been made possible through grants by Wildlife Preservation Canada and the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. Additional support came from private donations to, and fundraisers held by, Pollination Guelph. Critical site preparation assistance was provided as in-kind support by City staff. Pollination Guelph is fundraising now for future hectares and is seeking corporate sponsorships and donations from the community.
“It is with a great sense of satisfaction that the first phase of the Pollinator Park has been planted. Our volunteers have worked tirelessly to move this project forward from idea to realization. Our plan of turning a former dump into a pollinator paradise will have a positive impact not only on pollinators in Guelph, but will act as a model for communities to follow on other landfill and brown-field sites throughout Ontario and beyond”. Victoria MacPhail, Co-Chair, Pollination Guelph.
“Wildlife Preservation Canada recognizes the importance of creating suitable habitat for native pollinator species, some of which are in drastic decline. We are pleased to support this project in order to help mitigate threats to these important but frequently overlooked insects.” Sheila Colla, Project Lead, Wildlife Preservation Canada.
About Pollination Guelph
Pollination Guelph is a completely volunteer-run federally incorporated charitable organization. They formed in August 2008 to promote a better understanding of the importance of pollinators, to conserve and develop pollinator habitat and showcase pollinator projects to serve as a model for citizens and communities across Canada and internationally. These activities are accomplished through their goals of education, research, community outreach, advocacy, and conservation. Although they are well known for their outreach and education efforts, and for the successful creation of pollinator habitat throughout the City of Guelph, the Pollinator Park has been their flagship project.