Our vision was to help promote biodiversity and sustainable ecosystems. Pollinator populations are in decline due to the loss of habitat due to urbanization and landscaped lawns. Our idea came about looking around at the green space around our school and seeing large spaces of only monoculture lawn and recognizing that we had the space and the responsibility to act. Pollinator gardens are important because pollinators like butterflies, bees and hummingbirds rely on the plants in these gardens for food and habitat. Pollinators help to maintain the ecosystem, and pollinate the plants that humans and animals eat. Without pollinators, our crops would suffer, and we would quickly see a shortage in fresh fruits and vegetables, along with other plant life.
We chose to grow a pollinator garden on school grounds. We dug out a 6 square meter garden in full sun and placed soil on top. We sourced out local wildflowers from a nursery in Ottawa to plant and used the local Ottawa wildflower guide on the city of Ottawa website as a reference.
To help the bee population specifically, we built bee condos to give our bees a safe habitat. We took a piece of rough 4×4 wood, and drilled holes into it without going out the other end. Then, we stuck pieces of paper inside the holes to be able to remove and replace between seasons to ensure cleanliness. Finally, we colored the outside of the straw black to encourage bees to come live in there as they are attracted to the color black for habitat. We placed the bee homes in and around the garden and are going to track usage in the fall by looking at the papers inside to see how we can improve them to encourage bees to use them.