BY CHITHA MANORANJAN
It takes just a short stroll along the trails of the Renfrew Ravine to realize that spring is here! Fresh leaves are unfurling like tiny flags hanging on once-bare branches and colourful blossoms burst into life celebrating the spring air. Now is the perfect time to dust off those gardening gloves and dig out your tools from the shed—the youth in Renfrew-Collingwood sure are!
The Grade 9 Leadership students at Windermere high school spent the last two months carefully tending to tiny little wildflower seedlings that will soon make the Renfrew Ravine their home. Still Moon Arts has been working with the class on stewardship and arts initiatives this year with their expanding Youth Engagement Project. Now, with the support of master beekeeper Brian Campbell, Still Moon Arts and the students are making the Pollinator Project their next big thing!
The keen teenagers spent a session with Campbell learning all about native bees and their importance to our ecosystem. The class got to look up close at old bee houses as they talked about suitable habitats for bees and got to look even closer at deceased bees as they continued finding out about the different types that exist in the Lower Mainland.
There’s a lot of buzz about pollinator gardens and bees—all with good reason. These creatures are intricately woven into the fabric of our survival but have seen an alarming decline in their population worldwide. Habitat loss and pesticide use are among the leading causes of their loss. But wildflower and pollinator gardens are spaces for bees to thrive. By creating more of these spaces, the positive impacts of a healthy bee population is transferred across the surrounding ecological system.
Come April, the youth will once again join Brian Campbell with their precious seedlings and plant them in the ravine. This is being done with the hopes of building a larger network of pollinator havens that will work alongside other stewardship initiatives to contribute to a healthier ravine ecosystem.
If you’re stinging with curiosity and want to find out more about pollinator gardens and bees, Brian Campbell will be speaking at the Still Moon Arts Society’s annual general meeting on Thursday, May 5, 2016. More information is available at stillmoon.org
Chitha Manoranjan is a resident of Renfrew-Collingwood and is the youth engagement coordinator at Still Moon Arts Society.
Copyright (c) 2016 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News