Pollinator insects and the Garden City Lands

PARC-concept2Michael Wolfe drew our attention to the importance of pollinating insects when he identified “native bees and nesting birds” as a natural conservation value of the southwest corner of the Garden City Lands, as shown in the PARC concept map. (Click on the small version for a large one.)

We know from Richmond beekeeper Brian Campbell that there are ways to help the native bees to migrate around the lands as part of bog restoration. It occurs to me that Kwantlen Polytechnic could also do research with plantings that bring back other pollinators in farming areas of the lands.

I keep an eye out for further insights, and today’s Yale Environment 360 has filled the bill with a report titled “Growing Insects: Farmers Can Help to Bring Back Pollinators.” Click on the intro below to read the article.

Growing Insects

It got me thinking further. A bonus is that having flowers for pollinators for much of the year would add to the natural colour for all who visit the lands, Richmond’s central park. We go there to feel happy and healthy in a natural environment, and our human nature will be a winner as we experience the goal of community wellness.

It also brought the obstacles to mind. We have seen our native bees, especially in their pollinator role, as important enough to discuss in at least five previous articles on this blog, but the City of Richmond ignored them and all insects in its terms of reference for the biophysical inventory of the Garden City Lands. A capable company did what it could in that very important but underfunded task. However, the financial and mandate limits doomed it to being half done, which means that it has about a tenth of the value we should have received.

What we can do is keep being informed, and the Yale article is a good means. Like the decline of pollinators, the Richmond situation may seem hopeless, but “hope springs eternal.”

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