Bring­ing back the buzz

Ontario Gardener Magazine - - LOCAL DIRT - By Suzanne Hanna

Some seven years ago I had the priv­i­lege to serve on the Con­ser­va­tion and En­vi­ron­ment Com­mit­tee of the On­tario Hor­ti­cul­tural As­so­ci­a­tion. Un­der the ded­i­cated lead­er­ship of fel­low mem­ber Carol Dunk, the Road­sides: A Guide to Cre­at­ing a Pol­li­na­tor Patch book­let was cre­ated to en­cour­age gar­den­ers across On­tario to es­tab­lish pol­li­na­tor patches along high­ways, in pub­licly owned spa­ces and in back­yards to pro­vide food and shel­ter for bees, but­ter­flies and moths, hum­ming­birds and even bee­tles and flies.

Time has passed and our pol­li­na­tors are still un­der threat and in de­cline. In recog­ni­tion of the On­tario Gov­ern­ment’s re­lease of its Pol­li­na­tor Health Ac­tion Plan in De­cem­ber 2016 and the OHA’s man­date to en­cour­age the plant­ing of trees, shrubs and flow­ers on public and pri­vate grounds, pro­mote the pro­tec­tion of the en­vi­ron­ment and cir­cu­late hor­ti­cul­tural in­for­ma­tion, the OHA Pol­li­na­tor Ini­tia­tive was born.

This project in­volves this pro­vin­cial or­ga­ni­za­tion work­ing with On­tario Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, Food and Ru­ral Af­fairs to es­tab­lish a pol­li­na­tor gar­den this year on gov­ern­ment owned land at Queen’s Park. In ad­di­tion, the cre­ation of pol­li­na­tor havens that pro­vide food, drink and nest­ing sites will be cre­ated in all 19 OHA Dis­tricts, thanks to the gen­er­ous sup­port of Lee Val­ley and the Co-op­er­a­tors.

This is ex­cit­ing news for our mem­ber­ship of al­most 28,000 aspir­ing gar­den­ers who are ded­i­cated to mak­ing On­tario beautiful. They work hard to share their love of gar­den­ing and show­case their ef­forts dur­ing Gar­den On­tario Week ( gar­de­non­tar­i­oweek.org) which runs mid-June.

This year’s OHA Con­ven­tion will be held July 21 to 23 at the Sher­a­ton Park­way North Ho­tel, Suites and Con­fer­ence Cen­tre in Rich­mond Hill. Hosted by District 5, the theme is “Green from Shore to Shore”. Par­tic­i­pants will have the plea­sure of lis­ten­ing to sev­eral pol­li­na­tor ex­perts and the op­por­tu­nity to at­tend a Lee Val­ley spon­sored Bee House Work­shop. For more in­for­ma­tion about the 2017 Con­ven­tion, go to gar­de­non­tario.org and learn more about how you can bring back the buzz!

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