Canadian landowners planting “wildflower buffet” to save endangered pollinators

GUELPH, Ontario (September 11, 2017)

Native pollinators will have thousands more lunch stops on their daily foraging rounds, thanks to five caring Canadian landowners who are planting wildflowers to save endangered insect species.

From British Columbia to Atlantic Canada, native pollinators, including bees, flies, and butterflies, are declining at a pace never seen before. In response, Wildlife Preservation Canada and Burt’s Bees have teamed up to create a Wildflower Seed Grant program to help landowners across the country fight this trend by planting native pollinator habitat that will provide nectar and pollen to hungry insects.

“Our goal is to support restoration of rare habitat and inspire landowners to start thinking about new uses for large difficult or unused natural areas,” says Jessica Steiner, Conservation Programs Director for Wildlife Preservation Canada.

Wildflower Seed Grant applicants were asked to submit a description of the site they wished to rehabilitate, its unique habitat characteristics, and a list of species at risk they hoped to attract.  Over 30 applications were sent to Wildlife Preservation Canada from across the country. The winners were announced this week.

In Milford, Ontario, three heritage farms are teaming up to plant wildflowers on roadside land that has been unused because of its irregular and narrow width.  The Pays de Cocagne Sustainable Development Group will be naturalizing land bordering a salt marsh in the coastal town of Cocagne, New Brunswick. Matson Conservation Area in urban Victoria, British Columbia, will have its rare but degraded Garry oak meadow seeded with long-lost native wildflowers. Abandoned quarry land at Clear Creek Forest in Chatham, Ontario will be rehabilitated into a Carolinian meadow to complete the connectivity between the forest and wetlands. Lastly, a recreation center in Gimli, Manitoba, is naturalizing a section of its park land to resemble prairie habitat that once occupied the area.

“We were delighted to see such a wide range of applications,” says Randal Heide, Executive Director of Wildlife Preservation Canada. “Each of the grant recipients will be working to restore a unique natural area that had over time been disturbed by human development to the point where it no longer represented the native flora of the area. We hope that these sites will serve as living examples of how to take advantage of common situations to bring back native wildflowers and their pollinators.”

Progress of all five sites will be documented and shared online in the hopes it will encourage other residents to do the same with their land. View pages.

“Burt’s Bees is a proud, long-standing partner to Wildlife Preservation Canada and we are committed to helping our native pollinators thrive,” says Carolyn Hungate, Marketing Manager, Burt’s Bees Canada. “We are thrilled to support such a worthy cause, and to help encourage others to create more pollinator habitats across Canada.”

About Wildlife Preservation Canada

Established in 1985, Wildlife Preservation Canada is a national charity devoted to saving endangered animal species facing imminent extinction in Canada – species whose numbers in the wild are so low that habitat protection alone is not enough. It is currently providing expert hands-on care to several reptile, amphibian, bird, and insect species in projects ranging from the St. Lawrence/Great Lakes region to Vancouver Island, making it the only organization in Canada to perform such work in multiple species recovery efforts across the country. For more information, please visit https://wildlifepreservation.ca

Contact:  519-836-9314 or admin@wildlifepreservation.ca