Bringing back the buzz
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!