Bee a hero garden challenge winners announced by city

By Lindsay Advocate

Be pollinator friendly: Free event in October

At the February 7 Committee of the Whole meeting, Kawartha Lakes Environmental Action Committee (KLEAC) Council representative, Councillor Warren, shared a presentation recognizing the 2022 Bee A Hero Garden Challenge winners on behalf of Bee City Canada.

The Bee A Hero Garden Challenge encourages residents of Kawartha Lakes to improve the local habitat for native pollinators (bees, moths, beetles, butterflies and hummingbirds) by planting a pollinator friendly garden in their backyard, farm, balcony or deck.

Below is a brief description of each Bee Heroes’ garden:

Lindsay Community Garden: Located at Fleming College’s Frost Campus, the Lindsay Community Garden contains 85 plots tended by individual gardeners, many of whom include flowers to attract pollinators for fruiting vegetables. Featured in their entry were their shared, communal plantings: an orchard of apple, pear, and cherry trees, and a large “pollinator/herb garden” that has been enhanced over the years. Over 2022 a major initiative was creating labels for all the plants in the pollinator/herb garden. Additional shrubs were also added along a nearby fence line.

BGC Kawarthas: BGC Kawarthas started their small native pollinator garden as a way to teach the children the importance of taking care of the world around them. When the children were hatching butterflies within the centre, the BGC team started to research native plants that they could plant in their garden to attract pollinators and give their butterflies a place to lay their eggs and feed. This year they planted 2 types of Echinacea, Monarda, Salvia and Swamp Milkweed. BGC Kawarthas is looking forward to continuing to add on to the garden each season to attract more pollinators, improve the bio-diversity around their centre and provide the children with endless learning opportunities.

Angela Kelley: After moving to Lindsay to be near family, Angela discovered that the garden at her new home had been neglected. She noticed the lack of insects and butterflies so she decided to plant native plants of all kinds. People in the neighborhood love the changes and look forward to seeing what is new and in bloom. Angela’s garden has been blessed with many varieties such as cone flowers, false sunflowers, varieties of milkweed, as well as many varieties of wildflowers that last from spring into the fall.

Elizabeth Elliot: This year, Elizabeth Elliot converted a grassy space within the Lindsay Community Garden into a raised garden bed showcasing 20 different perennial wildflowers, all but one of them native to Ontario. Included are species such as Prairie Smoke, Bloodroot, Joe Pye Weed, Wild Ginger, Pussytoes, Black-eyed Susan, and New York Aster. From spring to late fall, there is always something in bloom.

Heather Stresman: Heather has a container garden with sunflowers on her deck. Before the container garden full of sunflowers, it was an empty 16’ by 8’ deck. In the summer months when sitting on the deck you can hear the bees buzzing from sunflower to sunflower. It doesn’t take a lot of room to create a space for pollinators!

Sandra Morrison: When Sandra moved here in October 2020, her new garden was grass, mud and overgrown with shrubs and weeds. She cleaned it up and focused on adding native plants for pollinators as much as possible. For shrubs, she has dogwood, willow, lilacs, forsythia, hydrangeas, cedar, yew and bridal spirea. For trees, she has maple and birch. Her garden also has over 25 different plant and flower species. Her garden has a birdbath as a water source and she does not use pesticides. In the fall, she leaves the leaves and doesn’t cut back the dead plants until Spring. She says that it is so wonderful to see the birds, butterflies and bees where there used to be nothing. Sandra’s garden is her happy place.

“I would like to thank all of the contestants for participating in the 2022 Bee A Hero Garden Challenge and urge people to promote and help pollinators whenever they can. We’re always looking for new people to get involved to help our cause,” said Warren.  

The winners received certificates on behalf of Council, the Kawartha Lakes Environmental Advisory Committee and Pollinator Action Committee. Gift cards were also provided by two local native plant nurseries: Grow Wild Native Plant Nursery and Green Side Up.

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