On June 5th, we celebrated our first World Environment Day at Ophardt Canada in Beamsville, Ontario by planting a dedicated garden in support of native pollinator species.
More than 20 volunteers came out over the course of two days to help install a low maintenance garden full of a variety of native trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants. Special care was taken to ensure continuous food and habitat would be provided throughout the season by including plant species that bloom at different times throughout the growing season.
We sourced our plant material from a local nursery specializing in growing plants native to the seed zone. This means our plants are truly native species to the region; they are adapted to the conditions they will encounter in Beamsville, will require less maintenance over time, and will therefore better serve native pollinator species.
As time goes on, our garden will continue to grow and become more beautiful, vibrant and beneficial to pollinators. A heartfelt “thank you” to everyone who participated to make this day possible!
What are pollinators and why are they important?
Pollinators are species of animals that perform the keystone ecosystem service of pollination. Bees are well-known pollinators, but over 100,000 invertebrates—including butterflies, moths, wasps, flies, and beetles—and over 1,000 mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, act as pollinators.
Pollination is an essential component in both natural and human-managed terrestrial ecosystems, allowing for the reproduction of a variety of plant species. Pollinators are critical in maintaining and promoting biodiversity, and contributing to food security. According to the Convention on Biological Diversity, approximately two-thirds of world’s agricultural crops are dependent on pollination services provided by insects and other animals.
Over the past 20 years, scientists and agriculturalists have noted a worldwide decline in pollinator diversity. Habitat destruction and fragmentation, pests and diseases, invasive species, pollution, and pesticide use are widely noted as contributing factors to the decline in pollinator diversity.
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