Frequently Asked Questions
Terrapure Pollinator Paradise Project
Who is Environment Hamilton?
Environment Hamilton is a non-profit organization that has been working since 2001 to inspire people to protect and enhance our environment through leadership, education and advocacy.
Who is Hamilton Naturalists Club
Hamilton Naturalists’ Club is a volunteer led charitable organization with a 95 year history of promoting habitat protection, stimulating public interest and action in conservation. They undertake research and education regarding natural areas and acquiring and managing natural sanctuaries.
What is the Pollinators Paradise Project?
The Pollinator Paradise Project started in October 2014 through a partnership between The Hamilton Naturalists’ Club, Environment Hamilton and interested community members.
The vision of the Pollinators Paradise Project is to make Hamilton a paradise for pollinators by planting corridors of milkweed and wildflowers in our public parks and around our homes. The goal is to create a “pollinator highway,” an uninterrupted haven of native plants that will provide food and shelter for pollinators across Hamilton.
The Terrapure Pollinator Paradise is the largest project to date in the city of Hamilton.
Who is Terrapure?
Terrapure Environmental is the property owner of the site. The company provides environmental solutions to industry, with a long and proven track record of safety, professionalism and reliable service.
Terrapure is the operator of the Stoney Creek Regional Facility, which provides an important environmental service to local industries in Hamilton.
Why is Terrapure undertaking this project?
Terrapure recognizes the significant environmental impact of declining pollinators, which are essential to fruit and vegetable production and wild ecosystems. Since Terrapure has extensive property in upper Stoney Creek, the company sees this as a wonderful opportunity to help provide much-need pollinator habitat and educate the public about the importance of pollinators to our eco-system. The new project can serve as a ‘connecting’ pollinator corridor between Felker’s Conservation Area and the new East Mountain Conservation Area.
One of Terrapure’s core company values is environmental stewardship. Every day, though its operations, Terrapure endeavours to protect and enhance the natural environment.
The Heritage Green Passive Park is owned and maintained by Terrapure.
What is the City doing to support this project?
The City of Hamilton fully supports the establishment of this unique project to highlight the importance of pollinators and how different plants will attract different pollinator species and continues to support the establishment of pollinator patches in city parks and other municipality-owned lands.
Who is paying for the project?
Terrapure is pleased to be the only current corporate sponsor of this project, providing full funding for its development and maintenance.
How will these gardens be maintained?
Under the leadership of the Hamilton Naturalists Club and Environment Hamilton, local community volunteers will be sought to assist in the weeding, seed cultivation and on-going planting. Terrapure will maintain the natural buffer surrounding the gardens and continue to water and maintain the gardens as required.
Can I do this in my own yard?
Yes! There are many guides online to what plants you can put in your own gardens to help provide habitat for pollinators. The more we do to help these essential animals the better! Please visit the Pollinator Paradise Project website at hamiltonpollinatorparadise.org for more information.
How do I volunteer?
What is Pollination?
Pollination is the movement of pollen within a flower or from one flower to another. Flowers rely on vectors to move pollen. These vectors can include wind, water, or living organisms referred to as pollinators. The transfer of pollen in and among flowers leads to fertilization and successful seed and fruit production for the plant, enabling the species to survive and persist over many generations.
What is a Pollinator?
Pollinators are the insects, birds and animals that pollinate over 90% of flowering plants, and primarily include bees, flies, butterflies, moths, and other insects, although birds, bats and other animals can also be pollinators. Bees are the major pollinators in Canada, performing over 70% of the pollination services. There have been 855 species of native bees recorded in Canada, and include: bumble bees, mason bees, sweat bees, leaf cutting bees, mining bees, squash bees, and others. Pollinators are an indispensable natural resource, and their daily work is essential for over a billion dollars of apples, pears, cucumbers, melons, and many other kinds of Canadian farm produce.
Why is there so much concern about pollinators?
These beneficial organisms are under pressure from loss of habitat, loss of food sources, disease and pesticides. Studies have shown that several pollinator populations have drastically declined.
One out of every three bites of food that we eat depends on pollinators providing pollination services.
In Canada, one species of bumble bee (Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee) is thought to be close to extinction, while four other bee species are known to be in rapid decline. Butterfly species richness has declined by as much as 37% in some places, and beekeepers are dealing with high honeybee losses. As pollinator populations are threatened, so are fruit and vegetable production and the wild ecosystems that depend on the actions of pollinators.
Why are Pollinators so excited about waste management sites?
As a single industry, waste management sites provide significant opportunities to restore pollinator habitat and conserve pollinating species. The Ontario government estimates that 17,000 hectares of land are associated with the network of landfills managed by various municipalities and private waste management companies in Ontario. When these landfills are capped and site managers take action to plant for pollinators, it means lots of bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and moths will have food and a place to live.
Isn’t it dangerous having all these bees around?
Many people are wary, if not fearful, of insects such as bees and wasps. We don’t like to get stung. Less than half of the world’s bees are capable of stinging, meaning the risk of a sting from bees at the site, in your yard or garden is very small, especially with a bit of advance knowledge. You can safely get within inches of bees visiting flowers and not get stung. People get stung when they harass bees at their nests (although most native bees are solitary and do not have a nest to protect), step on or pinch them, or when they become tangled in folds or clothing. Keep back from yellow jackets nesting in the ground.
Are these Plants allergens?
Pollinator plants are actually much less likely to exacerbate allergies because they produce heavy sticky pollen that does not travel on the wind.
What about Golden Rod flowers and Ragweed?
Goldenrod pollen is often blamed for causing hay fever when the true culprit is ragweed. Both plants bloom from late summer to early fall, but goldenrod produces masses of bright golden flowers that attract pollinators. Ragweed has small, unremarkable green flowers that unleash copious amounts of pollen freely into the winds. Goldenrods produce far less pollen because they are both wind and insect-pollinated. Ragweed is not included in the seed mix selected for these gardens.
Are the new plants safe for the dogs in the dog park?
The Terrapure Pollinator Paradise Project will be situated outside of the leash free dog park and the species planted are completely safe for dogs and people.
How is a pollinator garden different than a regular garden?
A pollinator garden has specific plants that attract pollinators and provide nesting habitat. These gardens are also made up of native plant species to protect native biodiversity.