Mass planting at Vancouver park aims to create bee oasis
Community puts 1,500 flowering plants in ground at West 5th Avenue and Pine Street
Come spring, a corner lot on Vancouver's West Side should be the newest haven for bees and butterflies in the city.
On Saturday, hundreds of residents helped the park board put 1,500 flowering plants like mints, sages, asters and bee balms in the ground to create a "pollinator park" at West 5th Avenue and Pine Street.
The $215,000 park is the first phase of a long-term plan to develop a space that spans the entire block between 5th and 6th Avenues and Pine and Fir Streets.
The Vancouver Park Board's chair, Sarah Kirby-Yung says the park also features benches and tables made out of a fallen fir tree from Stanley Park.
The new 0.3-acre — or 1,200 sq.m — park supports the park board's biodiversity strategy and demonstrates sustainability practices, including a rainwater cistern for wet season rainwater capture and dry-season watering.
Vancouver Park Board biologist Nick Page says he hopes people who helped with the planting take some of the sustainable concepts home to their own gardens, like seeding wild areas with wild flowers instead of grass.
"Anytime we do a new park or redevelop a park we look at where we can create things like all sorts of sustainability features, [and] including pollinator habitat," he said.
Bee researchers like Mark Winston say cities are havens for bees, because of the lack of pesticides and the diversity of plants. Bee populations around the world are in rapid decline due to chemicals and land use changes that restrict wild flowers and diseases.