SNC installs new pollinator meadows in North Dundas

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submitted by Erin Thorne

South Nation Conservation (SNC) staff were as busy as bees this fall, completing the installation of over three acres of pollinator habitat in North Dundas. The new pollinator meadows planted by SNC, in partnership with Syngenta Canada, have created essential habitats and food sources for a range of pollinators, including native bees and pollinating insects. These meadows also enhance the biodiversity of the region and improve the local environment.

Syngenta Canada’s Operation Pollinator program provided SNC with native wildflower seeds to establish two pollinator meadows in North Dundas. Wildflower seeds were sowed along the South Nation River at Oak Valley Pioneer Park and near Camp Sheldrick. The new pollinator meadows are considered a win-win for the environment and for neighbouring agricultural fields due to the influx of pollinating insects that will live and thrive in the new habitat.

The sites for the pollinator project are directly adjacent to the South Nation River. The newly planted vegetation along the shoreline will act as buffers to the river to improve water quality while also providing a natural corridor for wildlife to move under cover along the river. The design of the site locations also took into consideration the surrounding landscape and agricultural activities, by squaring off fields that were deemed awkward for farming equipment to maneuver through.

A diverse selection of wildflowers was chosen for the project to enhance the pollinator habitat. “All species are native to Eastern North America and are pollinator favourites, specifically bees,” said Brent Harbers, SNC’s Watershed Biologist. “They have showy flowers and provide seed for a variety of birds and mammals. The native grasses will also provide cover and habitat for wildlife,” he explained.

Seeds were sourced by Northern Wildflowers, an Ontario-based company, and include gray-headed coneflower, milkweed, oxeye sunflower, purple coneflower, wild bergamot, and switchgrass among 18 others native species.

“We’re pleased to partner with SNC to help support habitat creation to promote the health and well-being of bees and other pollinators given their essential role in agriculture and nature,” says Annalisa Mazzorato, Regulatory Manager, Syngenta Canada. 

Last year, in partnership with the Canadian Wildlife Federation, SNC successfully created a pollinator meadow at Mill Run Conservation Area, transforming a 1.5-acre field into a biodiverse community pollinator garden. Donated by Augusta Township to the Conservation Authority in 2021, the property will support the growth of a variety of native wildflowers over the next few growing seasons, providing diverse food sources for pollinating insects.

“We are excited to watch this pollinator meadow grow and enhance the habitat along the shoreline over the next few years,” added Harbers. “Partnerships with programs like Operation Pollinator make it possible to complete important projects that improve the health of our local environment.”

About Operation Pollinator  

Operation Pollinator is a long-standing international biodiversity initiative by Syngenta focused on research and partnerships to promote the health and well-being of bees and other pollinators.

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