Pollinator parks protection passes

Bumblebees, butterflies, moths, flies and other pollinators will now have a safe landing in Red Deer. City Hall Park, Snell Gardens, Bower Ponds and Maskepetoon Park were dedicated as pollinator parks on Monday. The average onlooker will not notice too much of a difference at the sites save for a few interpretative signs. But the payoff will be huge, says Trevor Poth, the city’s Parks superintendent.

Bumblebees, butterflies, moths, flies and other pollinators will now have a safe landing in Red Deer.

City Hall Park, Snell Gardens, Bower Ponds and Maskepetoon Park were dedicated as pollinator parks on Monday.

The average onlooker will not notice too much of a difference at the sites save for a few interpretative signs.

But the payoff will be huge, says Trevor Poth, the city’s Parks superintendent.

“The most important thing about the pollinator parks is educating the public about the opportunities they have on their own properties,” said Poth. “We can have huge benefits for pollinators (through) residents adopting our practices and incorporating them into their land base.”

The project price tag rings in at roughly $10,000 or $2,500 per site for the signs.

The city’s website will feature resources for those interested in transforming their yards into pollinator-friendly areas.

The four sites were selected based on the habitat, pollen sources, interpretive access and pesticide limitations.

Poth said the city is in a good position because many of the parks were designed as the perfect environment for pollinators.

“We will be focusing on these parks as areas we will further reduce pesticide use but also areas where we can do innovative things such as overseeding certain areas … and different things with flowers,” said Poth.

Councillors Paul Harris and Lynne Mulder brought the motion to council calling for the protection of pollinators last March.

Harris said Red Deer is being looked at by other municipalities for the work done around the new pollinator parks.

“It’s great to see this resolution pass today,” said Harris.

“I think it will set the stage for other municipalities to take a leadership role in protecting pollinators.”

Harris said he was reminded by the “alarmist statement” by Albert Einstein where Einstein declared, “if we lose our bees and our pollinators, we will lose humanity, four years later.”

Coun. Dianne Wyntjes said major pollinator numbers have declined between 30 to 40 per cent over the last 20 years due to lost of habitat and pesticide use.

“When you think about that and you don’t do anything what’s going to happen in the next 10 to 20 years,” she said.

“This resolution … is so much more than what the city can do but what our citizens can do … It’s what we can plant locally and the actions we do in our own backyards and our balcony that can make a difference.”

Council also pointed out the great work being done to protect pollinators in the community by groups at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre and the Ellis Bird Farm.

Coun. Ken Johnston said, “it’s a great day to be a pollinator. It’s a great day to be a Red Deerian.”

In other council news:

— More help is on the way for individuals living on the streets in Central Alberta.

Council endorsed the Community Housing Advisory Board (CHAB)’s recommendation to allocate $185,000 to the McMan Central for a new youth outreach and family reunification services project. CHAB, on behalf of the city, oversees two grant programs that help individuals who are experiencing homelessness with the goal to getting them into stable housing. The new project will run from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.

— A Queen Anne influenced house in Red Deer may be protected under the Alberta Historical Resources Act.

Council endorsed the issuance of the notice of intent for the Willson House (5011-43rd Ave.) to be named a municipal historic reserve. While municipalities have the authority to designate municipal historic resources, this will be the first time the city has considered the possibility. The owners of the 104-year-old home requested the designation. In as early as mid-August council will consider designating the site located in the Michener Hill neighbourhood through a land use bylaw.

— Jackpot Casino’s proposed parking lot cleared another hurdle.

Acting as the development authority, council approved a development permit for a temporary nine-year parking lot at 4637 and 4643-50th Street. There were some minor changes to the site plan including reducing the number of parking spaces to 41 from 42, widening a lane, sign location and pedestrian connection. Two trees will be planted to replace two that will be chopped down. The existing Larch tree will be preserved.

The approval comes after a large public hearing on March 30 when council approved a site exception for the Parkvale site.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Man from Olds killed in collision near Sundre

A 39-year-old man from Olds was killed in a collision near Sundre… Continue reading

Tips to keep crime at bay this Christmas

’Tis the season for joy and celebration, but the Christmas season can… Continue reading

Olympic ski run designer creates upgrades at Canyon Ski Resort

Jeff Ihaksi says free-style and alpine ski venues are Canada Winter Games-worthy

Updated: Collision expert backs version of crash of driver accused of manslaughter

Daniel Newsham accused of manslaughter in fatal 2016 collision

WATCH: More than 100 protest UN migration pact, carbon tax in Red Deer

Chants of “Trudeau must go” echoed through the streets of downtown Red… Continue reading

Tkachuk’s goal in 3rd gives Flames 2-1 win over Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Matthew Tkachuk scored the go-ahead goal midway through… Continue reading

Women use scent to lure wolf-dog that ran away from Calgary airport

EDMONTON — A woman from Alberta is thanking an unconventional strategy for… Continue reading

Suspect in Alberta, Saskatchewan bank robberies to get mental assessment

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — A former Winnipeg broadcaster and journalism instructor accused… Continue reading

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau says his government hopes to make legal changes… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $60 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — There was no winning ticket for the $60 million jackpot… Continue reading

All evacuation orders lifted in deadly California wildfire

PARADISE, Calif. — All evacuation orders have been lifted in Paradise more… Continue reading

All aflutter about our feathered friends

Christmas Bird Count will be held Dec. 23

Baylor ties pervade rape case that sparked uproar

DALLAS — The Texas judge who approved a plea deal allowing a… Continue reading

Most Read