Ken Lehman, the city’s Parks, Ecological and Planning specialist, looks at a pollinator hotel at the Piper Creek Agriculture Restoration Project area. (Advocate file photo)

ReThink Red Deer wants to build world’s largest pollinator hotel

Red Deer could join the litany of Prairies communities claiming a world’s largest attraction, with the world’s largest pollinator hotel.

Starting with a $25,000 grant from the Alberta Real Estate Foundation, ReThink Red Deer, Top Peg Timber Frame Construction and the Timber Framers Guild are working together to build the hotel. It will go where an old barn once stood at the Piper Creek Community Gardens on 40th Avenue.

“Last summer, we were sad to see the old iconic barn be demolished for safety reasons,” said Rene Michalak, project lead. “The site looks so empty now, in spite of all the beautiful plants growing. It’s just not the same when you know what it looked like before.

“Our goal is to rebuild the barn as an open-air timber frame structure to harvest rainwater for the planted areas of the site. But what we’re most excited about is the opportunity to break a Guinness World Record by making the barn the largest insect (pollinator) hotel ever.”

The grant is just a start and more money will need to be raised to cover materials and equipment costs. No formal application has been presented to the City of Red Deer and no approvals have been secured.

They are launching a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, running from Aug. 4 to Sept. 30. For more information visit www.rethinkreddeer.ca/barn-raising.



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