June 19, 2018 – To celebrate Pollinator Week (June 18 to 24), staff have launched a project to introduce two pollinator gardens at Windy Ridge Conservation Area. The first area will be immediately adjacent to the lower trail and will provide access for guests to get up close to the pollinator garden. The second will be located away from the main trail and provide perfect habitat for a variety of crucial pollinators.
“The City of Kawartha Lakes was one of the first municipalities in Canada to receive the Bee City designation,” explained Director of Stewardship and Conservation Areas Kristie Virgoe. “Creating important pollinator areas within our conservation areas is a great way for us to be part of this exciting Bee City initiative and support the vital work pollinators do.”
Preparation work for the two Windy Ridge sites began on June 14, with additional sites being introduced at Ken Reid Conservation Area in 2019.
Conservation Areas Technician Melissa Creasy Alexander said the work undertaken to date will help ensure the future success of the pollinator gardens.
“We selected two spots along the lower section of the trail, between the parking lot and the water access, allowing for easy access for guests,” said Ms. Creasy Alexander. “We had previously done a walk through with ecological consultant Paul Heydon to discuss the best and most accessible locations.”
Mr. Heydon and his staff have been working for more than ten years on flora and fauna surveys, species at risk research, ecological restoration and ELC surveying for municipal, provincial and federal government agencies and public and private organizations.
As part of the preparation work, existing vegetation was removed in square patches approximately 11 feet by seven feet, with the final gardens planned to be roughly 10 feet by six feet.
“We removed all of the existing vegetation and placed cardboard across the entire ground area and covered with a layer of mulch,” explained Ms. Creasy Alexander. “The cardboard and mulch will help reduce and eliminate the established tall grass and create a perfect space to plant the pollinator garden next spring.”
“We are thrilled to be able to be part of this project and work with Bee City to create these very important pollinator gardens,” said Ms. Virgoe. “This is a great way to celebrate Pollinator Week and create important areas for pollinators to flourish in the future.”