City council and staff officially opened the city's four pollinator parks in city parks on Tuesday. Ken Lehman

Pollinators quick to move into new homes across Red Deer

Designated pollinator habitat located in four city parks are giving the public a new view of bees, beetles, butterflies and other insects necessary to grow vegetables, fruit and flowers.

Designated pollinator habitat located in four city parks are giving the public a new view of bees, beetles, butterflies and other insects necessary to grow vegetables, fruit and flowers.

Ken Lehman, the city’s parks, ecological and planning specialist, said pollinators were quick to move into the pollinator park at Bower Ponds that was completed on Monday.

“There are leafcutter bees using these logs already. There’s all kinds of stuff going on in here and it’s just days old. They establish pretty quick,” said Lehman at the pollinator park, located in the northeast end of Bower Ponds near Taylor Drive, where city council and staff gathered on Tuesday morning for the official announcement of the pollinator parks.

“The sand pile went in four days ago and the very next day there were already ground nesters in it.”

Pollinator parks in City Hall Park, Snell Gardens, Maskepetoon Park and Bower Ponds will provide food and shelter for many native pollinators.

Little has changed at Maskepetoon Park since the expanse of natural habitat already makes it a great place for pollinators. But in the other parks, city crews have installed pollinator hotels and planted some of the pollinators’ favourite flowers, trees and bushes. Interpretive signs are being added to teach residents about the role pollinators play in the ecosystem and what people can do to enhance their own yards and gardens to include pollinator habitat and food sources.

Lehman said native bees are the primary pollinators and it’s important to keep their populations strong for the benefit of the complex ecosystem and ecology within the city.

He said it’s good for people to visit pollinator parks to see what pollinator habitat is all about.

“This park, like the three others, is instrumental in demonstrating what people can do in their backyard. It can be decorative. It can be art. It can be like this hotel, or it can be a log that’s on the ground. They’re both very useful.”

For more information visit www.reddeer.ca/recreation-and-culture/parks-and-trails/pollinator-parks.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

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