Earthwise workshop teaches gardeners how to plant for pollinators

June 16 to 23 is national Pollinator Week, a time to celebrate pollinators and learn more about what we can do to protect them.

On Saturday, June 15, Earthwise Society and Feed the Bees will be offering a Planting for Pollinators workshop from 10 to 11 a.m. to demonstrate how we can do our part at home to attract and feed pollinators.

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Although they are tiny, pollinators provide a critical service to our ecosystem. Birds, butterflies, bats, bees and other small insects travel from plant to plant carrying pollen on their bodies that allows the vital transfer of genetic material necessary for flowering plants to reproduce.

Most plants need pollinators to help them with pollination -- without them, many of the foods that we currently enjoy would no longer be available. Not only do pollinators play a crucial role in supporting the food we eat, but they help to maintain diversity in our ecosystems.

However, pollinators are in trouble. As native vegetation is replaced by lawns, roads and housing, pollinators lose food and critical habitat they need to survive. The declining pollinator population is an urgent issue that affects all of us.

Home gardeners can help to protect and provide habitat for pollinators by landscaping with plants that provide pollen and nectar year round. The Planting for Pollinators workshop will show how to do just that. As an added benefit, your pollinator habitat will create a garden that is always bright with colour as something will always be in bloom.

The workshop will highlight some of the native species of plants that are so important for providing pollinator forage to native pollinator species such as hummingbirds and bumble bees. Workshop participants will be treated to a guided tour of the Earthwise Garden as an example of pollinator-friendly planting and will have the opportunity to purchase a selection of pesticide-free plants at the Earthwise Farm Store.

To register for the Planting for Pollinators workshop, email or call 604-946-9828. The Earthwise Garden is located at 6400-3rd Ave in Boundary Bay.

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