Monday, August 31, 2015

Two Ontario Nature Youth talk about Environmental Activism

A portion of the poster Mariel created.
When Etobicoke native, Mariel Lepra joined Ontario Nature in the fall of 2013, she immediately proposed a campaign for the Youth Council.  Deeply concerned about the decline of bee and other pollinators’ populations, Mariel suggested the campaign advocate for the banning of neonicotinoid pesticide use in Ontario.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t an area on Ontario Nature’s radar! It took this (now) 18-year-old youth to make it a focus of the organization.

“I’d read about bee and colony collapse disorder in books like Keeping the Bees, and about neonicitinoids and wanted to help.  Staff at Ontario Nature exclaimed, “You opened our eyes,”” Mariel says.

Receiving plenty of positive feedback from the general public, the campaign consisted of getting people to sign postcards and petitions. Mariel and friends hand-delivered over 1,200-signed postcards to Queen’s Park. She also co-wrote a letter to Premier Wynne on behalf of the Youth Council, urging her government to ban the use of neonics.

The Youth Council members created a video as well.
They are working with partners to encourage Ontarians in planting pollinator gardens and native plants.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Harvesting Invasive Phragmite for bee box filler.

Yesterday morning we harvested some invasive phragmites along Cootes Drive with a LOT of help from some dedicated volunteers! A HUGE thanks to them!
We are using the phrag as bee box filler for our native, solitary bees who lay their eggs in hollow stalks for the winter. Neat, eh?
Here's a photo of our harvest.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Why you should certify your pollinator paradise with us!

Why certify your pollinator paradise project with us, you may ask?
Here’s what one person says about the effect a “pollinator paradise” sign in his garden has had on the neighbours: 
"Our house is on a corner, so our whole yard is visible from the sidewalk. We get a lot of people passing by a very unusual garden, and then stopping to read the sign. The people who already found the garden beautiful are excited to see that it's also beneficial, while those who thought it strange become more understanding as they see the logic behind it. The number of conversations I have while out gardening has doubled, and we've not had a single by-law complaint against us since it was posted--compared to at least five per season in previous years." Peter Hopperton.

Clearly, within the neighbourhood, certification of your property raises awareness and legitimizes what we are trying to achieve here—creating vital, much-needed habitat for pollinators of all kinds.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Upcoming Events!

Over the spring and summer, we have been busy planting pollinator patches with the Hamilton Victory Gardens and North Hamilton Community Health Centre - thanks to both of these amazing organizations who very willingly partnered with us to get more pollinator habitats in our City. 

Now, it's time to start hosting events. Listed below are some events that we have organized and others where we'll be at.  
Hope to see you soon!

Our next event is a guided tour of pollinator gardens. 
Fall is when many pollinator plants are in bloom, providing much needed food for pollinators as they get ready for the winter.
Join us on a walking tour starting at the First Unitarian Church and 2 other nearby sites.  As well, there will be a plant sale that our local pollinators need and love!
For details, check out this poster.