Eco-Friendly Initiatives

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Pollinator Week 

June 18-24, 2018 was National Pollinator Week! 

There was pollinator artwork commemorating the importance of our little friends displayed at the lobby of Town Hall. Educational Pamphlets are available at Town Community Centres. A Pollinator Workshop was held on June 20, 2018 presented by Durham Master Gardeners in partnership with the Whitby Sustainability Advisory Committee at the Whitby Central Library

Pollinators need our help!

Other ways to get involved: 

Built a Pollinator-friendly Yard:

  • Use compost or fertilizer to keep your yard and garden healthy and fertile
  • Plant nectar and pollen-rich plants such as Common Milkweed, Black-eyed Susan, Wild Bergamot and New England Aster
  • Plant flowers with a range of shapes and sizes to help attract pollinators of different sizes
  • Provide water for your pollinators – add a bee bath!
  • Avoid using pesticides and herbicides as these are harmful to pollinators and can also wipe out plants that provide a food source for pollinators

Pollinator Planting Project

On Saturday, May 5, 2018, residents and volunteers of all ages joined the Town of Whitby in planting native plants to diversify the existing pollinator habitat along Whitby’s waterfront. The project was made possible through a grant from the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, a national charity that funds environmental projects across Canada.

More than 40 volunteers planted 940 pollinator-attracting plants, such as Virginia Mountain Mint and Blue vervain, within the 10 metre by 50 metre site, located at Gordon Richards Park, east of Heydenshore Park.

The planting initiative is part of the Town’s Bee City and Mayor’s Monarch Pledge commitments to promote, diversify, create and enhance habitat for pollinators like bees and butterflies. This is the first habitat to be planted under these initiatives, which require a new habitat to be created, maintained or improved each year.

The planting project was made possible by the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. The Town would like to give special thanks to the volunteers: 

• Whitby Residents
• TD Bank Employee Volunteers
• Members of the Ontario Nature Youth Council
• Members of the Town of Whitby Sustainability Committee
• A member of Girl Guides donated 2 bee houses that she helped make
• Mayor Don Mitchell and staff who prepared and coordinated the project

Darren Park Vegetation Transplant

In 2015, the Town, the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA) and Medallion Developments worked together to preserve two Butternut Trees and Narrowleaf Mountain Mint vegetation. Butternut trees are considered a species at risk in Ontario and narrowleaf mountain mint is a locally rare species. These trees and vegetation were transplanted into Darren Park. Monitoring for vegetation health will occur until 2020, to ensure survival and successful transplantation.

Bee City 

In 2018, Bee City Canada has designated the Town of Whitby as a “Bee City.” The mission of the group is to inspire municipalities, First Nations, schools, businesses and organizations to take action to protect pollinators. The Town is the tenth municipality in Canada and the first in Durham Region to achieve this designation.

The Bee City designation is awarded to municipalities that make a declaration to:

  1. Creating, maintaining and/or improving pollinator habitat.
  2. Educating their community about the importance of pollinators.
  3. Celebrating pollinators during International Pollinator Week or at other times.

Report to Council: PL 96-17 

Mayors' Monarch Pledge

The Town joined the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge leadership circle in 2016. The Pledge is an initiative of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) whereby municipalities in both United States of America and Canada are committing to create habitat and educate citizens about how they can make a difference within their city/town. 

The Pledge contains initiatives a municipality must complete prior to being part of the leadership circle. The Town has exceeded minimum and continues to complete the action steps annually to support monarch butterfly and pollinator habitat

Report to Council: CMS 39-16

 

Pollinator Fun Facts

  • Did you know that bees aren’t the only pollinators?  Butterflies, lady bugs, beetles, moths and hummingbirds are also important pollinators.
  • Without pollinators we wouldn’t have some of our favourite treats like coffee and chocolate!  Without bees we would lose all the fruits and vegetables they pollinate – like oranges, pumpkins, onion, avocados, blueberries, raspberries and cherries.
  • A honey bee visits 50 – 100 flowers in one collection trip.
  • Bees fly more than once around the world to gather a pound of honey.

Links and Resources

Learn more about Pollinators - Pollinator Partnership

Learn about Protecting Pollinators and the Pollinator Action Plan - Ontario Government

A Guide for Preserving and Creating Habitat for Pollinators on Ontario’s Farms - Pollinator Partnership

Create Habitat for Pollinators including Native Solitary Bees - David Suzuki Foundation

Maintain Pollinator Habitat - Toronto Region Conservation Authority