Pollinators – including bees, wasps, flies, beetles, butterflies and moths – are vital to maintaining healthy ecosystems. Small but mighty, they are responsible for fertilizing a huge percentage of plants, helping them form seeds that eventually blossom into new plants. Without pollinators, the next generation of plants – and the foundation of any ecosystem or food chain – would be in jeopardy. Sadly, significant declines in pollinator numbers are being observed across Canada and globally.
In Fundy National Park (FNP), biologists are taking action and engaging in efforts to recover a number of at-risk pollinator species, including the iconic monarch butterfly and the yellow-banded bumblebee. By planting an approximately 3,200-ft2 pollinator garden on the Headquarters Bluff, the garden will increase the amount of habitat available to pollinators in the park, providing a continuous supply of nectar and pollen to native pollinator species throughout the season and as they migrate. Park staff will monitor the presence of pollinator species in the park and which types of plants they favour. This will enable staff to help make better decisions to support at-risk pollinator species.
To celebrate this collaboration, community pollinator gardens will be planted in five communities surrounding FNP on the United Way Day of Caring (June 14th). These include St. Martins, Alma, Riverside-Albert, Hopewell Cape and Hillsborough. Along with the FNP pollinator garden, these gardens will be the foundation of the Fundy Pollinator Trail.
Community members are invited to participate in the planting process and gain meaningful, hands-on volunteer experience while learning how to successfully plant their own backyard pollinator garden. With pollinator gardens in FNP, surrounding communities, and our backyards, we’ll be significantly improving pollinator habitat in the Fundy region. If you are a business operator, don’t hesitate to get in touch about how you can host a micro-pollinator garden at your own location. You can pick up your very own pollinator kit at the Friends of Fundy Outpost East Gift Shop at the FNP Visitor Centre – complete with seed bombs, a planting guide and goodies from our community partners.
Stop by the pollinator garden in FNP or your local community garden and view the educational panels about the iconic monarch butterfly, yellow-banded bumblebees and other native pollinating species. Fundy Park interpreters will be offering programs about pollinators throughout the summer, and Park Biologists will be using iNaturalist observations from the public in their species population and distribution data.
A series of family-friendly workshops led by community partners will teach you everything you need to know about planting your own backyard pollinator garden, from choosing native plants that bloom throughout the season to providing overwintering and nesting places for pollinating species. The team from FBR will lead you in making tin-can bee houses to bring home with you! The first workshop will be on Saturday, June 15th during Bee-Day Bash at the Hillsborough Farmers’ Market.
To follow along and stay informed on pollinator workshops in your community, like the Fundy Guild Inc. (Friends of Fundy) on Facebook. Use the hashtag #FundyPollinatorTrail to share your own photos and stories about pollinators in the Fundy Region.
Kat Hallett is the PR & Community Engagement Coordinator at the Friends of Fundy/Fundy Guild Inc. The Friends of Fundy work to increase public awareness & enjoyment of the natural and cultural heritage of Fundy National Park & surrounding communities.
Images of Yellow-banded bumblebees feeding on lupins