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Pollination with Purpose

Pathways for Promoting Pollinator Gardens

Pollinator Pathways Project (PPP)

Little bodies making a huge impact globally- that’s what pollinators are! According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, there has been a global decline in bee and other pollinator populations due to excessive use of agricultural chemicals, increase in global temperatures, intensive farming practices and mono-cropping. Without pollinators, our grocery shopping list would be much shorter and our diets very limited.

Bee with pollen stuck
Bee with pollen stuck to its body
Source: David Clode via Unsplash

What is really needed is interconnected pollinator areas which promotes pollination. Thankfully, a small core team of seven people called the Pollinator Pathways Project (PPP) have been making a large impact in promoting pollinator habitats in the city of London, Ontario. In an interview with Jessica Cordes, Secretary of Pollinator Pathways Project, she said that the group’s goal is to help build networks of pollinator pathways across London by supporting residents and businesses to plant their own pollinator gardens. Cordes also mentioned that the team provides information on how to make a garden and their two plant experts can help suggest plants (over 5000 possible plants to grow) that are applicable to the environmental conditions of the garden including soil type and sunlight. This makes it easy for anyone to volunteer their garden as a pollinator-space especially since the expert advice is free. To keep the team’s volunteer efforts going, PPP signs are also available at a cost to ensure that their work is being recognized throughout the city.

Pollinator Pathways Project - ENV Media
Jessica Cordes (right), Secretary of Pollinator Pathways Project and a volunteer
maintaining one of the PPP’s gardens at the London Brewery Coop

The PPP along with support from the London Environmental Network’s environmental incubator program are also working on a long-term goal of establishing a pollinator pathway from the Thames River Fork at Dundas Street down until the Western Fair area in London, Ontario. The PPP aims to encourage the development of large educational gardens at both ends of the aforementioned Dundas Street areas and for organizations and businesses along this path to create their own gardens. Cordes highlighted that in the long-term the PPP hopes to contribute to pollinator health and improved food security especially from their public education drive. Since pollinators unknowingly ensure that pollen stuck to their bodies are transferred from one plant to another as they enjoy their meals, this venture can help keep the bees, birds, butterflies, moths and some beetle populations alive. Pollen transfer stimulates plants’ reproductive systems and in turn help them grow and increase their yield.

While a minimum of 1m by 1m area is encouraged for starting a garden, the PPP recognizes that some people may live in apartment buildings. Thankfully bees can fly up to 100ft and balcony pots and planter boxes can allow anyone to contribute their part in the pollination process. However, if you do not have a plot or balcony to offer but would like to contribute your time and efforts into helping the PPP, you can write blog posts or help with garden maintenance volunteer opportunities throughout the city. Simple opportunities such as planting, watering plants and weeding public gardens can help ensure that our pollinator friends are kept fed and in turn ensure that humans are fed when crops are pollinated.

Provide the space, get your hands in the dirt and let the pollinators do the rest!

Butterflies having a quick meal while helping pollinate plants
Butterflies having a quick meal while helping pollinate plants
Source: Richard Sagredo via Unsplash

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LEARN MORE

This non-profit organization also offers webinars and workshops in the community. Check out their website to learn more about how you can help make a difference in the lives of pollinators, as well as, in the community.

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