A fundraising campaign to build Canada’s biggest pollinator hotel starts this summer with information available at a Meet & Bleet at Piper Creek Community Gardens on Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Rene Michalak, project leader with ReThink Red Deer, said people are encouraged to come out and meet the goats brought to the site for weed management.
The area includes community gardens where residents can plant vegetables, a pollinator garden, and a food forest being planted behind a deer fence.
He said the old, degrading barn at the gardens was torn down last summer and a $60,000 Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to build an open air timber frame barn will be launched on the August long weekend that will run to the last weekend in September.
“If we build it as a timber frame structure and leave the walls off of it, it’s lifetime is greatly extended. At the same time, there’s the opportunity to put pollinator habitat into the walls mimicking the pollinator hotel that’s already out there,” Michalak said.
“It will likely be Canada’s largest pollinator hotel so that’s a pretty cool tourist attraction.”
The roof will allow rainwater to be harvested for gardeners and more pollinators will provide pollination for their gardens. The barn will also offer shade and wind protection for visiting goats.
He said the intent is to build the barn next spring. If the $60,000 goal is not reached, more crowd funding or sponsorship will be considered.
“The intent is to have a community barn raising with the Timber Framers Guild.”
A $25,000 grant was received from the Alberta Real Estate Foundation to host timber framers and coordinate the project.
Green Drinks at Piper Creek Community Gardens in support of rebuilding the barn will also be held Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. with prizes and non-alcoholic drinks.
The community gardens are located south of the landfill on the east side of 40th Avenue.