Residents want Whitby’s waterfront to attract more bees

Whitby’s waterfront is slowly transforming into a sanctuary for bees.

Residents and volunteers of all ages joined the Town of Whitby and the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation in the planting of a new naturalized pollinator habitat along Whitby’s waterfront in early May.

More than 40 volunteers planted over 1,100 pollinator-attracting plants, such as milkweed and black-eyed susan, within the 10 metre by 50 metre site, which is located at Gordon Richard Park, east of Heydenshore Park.

The planting initiative is part of the Town’s Bee City and Mayor’s Monarch Pledge commitments to 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 each year.

“As a Bee City we are extremely proud of our commitment to support our bee populations and other pollinators, and want to lead by example,” said Mayor Don Mitchell. “The support from community partners and volunteers is what makes our Town special.”

Bees and other pollinators around the globe have experienced dramatic declines due to a combination of habitat loss, climate change, use of pesticides, and the spread of pests and diseases. The new habitat builds on the Town’s current activities aimed at conserving and restoring pollinator habitats by increasing plant diversity in the immediate and surrounding area.

“Initiatives like the Town of Whitby’s new pollinator habitat are vital to ensuring we have healthy, vibrant green spaces that communities can enjoy for generations,” says Carolyn Scotchmer, Executive Director, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. “From food production to supporting biodiversity, pollinators like bees have an important role to play. We are thrilled to support the Town of Whitby in their efforts to create a more vibrant planet.”

In January, Bee City Canada designated the Town of Whitby the 10th Bee City in Canada and first in Durham Region. As part of this designation, and in addition to the new pollinator habitat, the Town will hold public education workshops aimed at increasing awareness of the importance of pollinators.

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