Hundreds of Vancouver residents helped plant mints, sages, asters, and other bee- and butterfly-friendly varietals at a new pollinator park on the Canadian city’s West Side over the weekend, CBC News reports.
The $215,000 park, which is a third of an acre, is part of a long-term plan to redevelop an entire block. With 1,500 flowering plants, it will support biodiversity — a priority of the Vancouver Park Board — and serve as a demonstration space for sustainable practices. There’s a cistern to capture rainwater, and wildflowers where grass might typically be planted.
“Anytime we do a new park or redevelop a park we look at where we can create things like all sorts of sustainability features, [and] including pollinator habitat,” said Vancouver Park Board biologist Nick Page.
The city of Vancouver’s description of the Pollinator Project notes that “pollinators have declined in many areas but the exact causes are not known.”
Bee researchers say cities are often safe havens for bees because of the diversity of plants and lack of pesticides. Page said he hopes the planting volunteers will take some of these practices home to their own gardens.
The park also features benches and tables made from a fallen fir tree from the city’s famous Stanley Park.
The park will open to the public the weekend of Nov. 26.
Jen Kinney is a freelance writer and documentary photographer. Her work has also appeared in Philadelphia Magazine, High Country News online, and the Anchorage Press. She is currently a student of radio production at the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies. See her work at jakinney.com.