Pollinator Garden Project

Background

The Fairview Pollinator Garden will support native pollinators through the establishment of a pollinator hotel, butterfly hibernaculum, and plants naturally found in Alberta. An array of vegetation native to Peace Parkland and Alberta will provide a nutritious food source, and serve as a more organic, semi-natural habitat for pollinators such as bees, wasps, flies, beetles, butterflies, and moths.

  • Alberta has over 350 species of wild bees and unlike European honeybees, most are solitary.
  • Solitary bees nest both in the ground and in tunnels found in wood and pithy stemmed plants.
  • A “bee hotel” provides potential nesting sites for solitary, cavity-nesting bees that do not nest in the ground. A variety of cavity sizes are used to accommodate different sized bees.
  • Common cavity-nesting bees in the Parkland ecosystem are small carpenter, yellow faced, mason, leafcutter, and resin bees.
  • A butterfly hibernaculum can be created by stacking logs and brush or by making a purpose-built box and provides a space for overwintering butterflies.

Location

The Fairview Agricultural Society has obtained the use of 250 square metres of green grass space located on the Cummings Lake Trail. This space iwll allow for easy access to view the plants and pollinators and inspire citizens to adopt pollinator-friendly gardening practices in their own yards.

Natural Areas and Plants for Pollinators

We can help ensure the well-being of pollinators by preserving natural areas that support a variety of trees, shrubs, grasses, and flowering perennials and by understanding the value of dead trees (snags) for cavity-nesting pollinators. Our location within the Peace Parkland is unique, as many of the wildflowers and grasses found in southern Alberta grow along the Peace River. Some of these plants make excellent garden choices as they are adapted to the local climate, cold-hardy, drought-tolerant, do well in low nutrient soils, and are food and habitat for pollinators. Grassland/Parkland ecosystems are the most altered habitat in North America, and by preserving natural areas as well as planting local species, we can help preserve the important ecological services they provide.

Some of the Flowers to be Planted in the Pollinator Garden

  • Asters
  • Common Yarrow
  • Cut-leaved Anemone
  • Goldenrod
  • Milkweed
  • Wild Bergamot
blue anemone flower in full bloom,beautiful nature background

Map of the Pollinator Garden

Examples of Pollinator Hotels

Photo Credit: Cynthia Pohl

Additional Resources

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

An in-depth guide to the importance of pollinators in Canada. 

http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/documents/AgCanadaNativePollinators.pdf

Alberta Native Plant Council (ANPC)

Information on how to grow and where to source native plants and seeds.

https://anpc.ab.ca/?page_id=2003

AB Native Bee Council

Information on native bees and how to build nests.

https://www.albertanativebeecouncil.ca

Agroforestry & Woodlot Extension Society

Information on ecobufferestablishment, bumblebee houses, and recommended pollinator plants for boreal/aspen parkland regions of Alberta.

https://www.awes-ab.ca/publications/

Partners & Contributors

  • NAIT Centre for Boreal Research, for providing seedlings and expertise on native plant propagation.
  • GPRC National Bee Diagnostic Centre, for providing expertise on honeybees and pollinators.
  • Cynthia Pohl (GRP, Journeyman Gardener) of Living Lands Landscape and Design for advice on garden design and pollinator hotel.
  • Emily Kaing (BSc, Diploma Landscape Architecture Tech., Masters of Landscape Architecture for the garden design.
  • Source Inspired (Brand Strategy & Design) for logo design, promotional materials, and website.

Download a PDF of this info