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Toronto Trying to Get the Bees Back

Toronto Island's New 'Pollination Station' Seeks to Attract Pollinators, Educate Children

by Kelly Pflug-Back

Toronto Trying to Get the Bees Back

The City of Toronto unveiled a unique new family attraction last Friday, July 4th, in a public ceremony at Franklin's Children's Garden in Toronto Island Park.

The 'Pollination Station' features native plant species which attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and birds, and provides people of all ages with opportunities to learn about the vital role which pollinators play in propagating plant life, including the crops which we rely on for food. Concern over declining populations of native pollinators, particularly bees, has inspired similar projects in Ontario recently, including Guelph's Eastview Pollinator Park and the Farms at Work Native Pollinators Program.

“We are very pleased to launch this project,” Said Rob Richardson of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation. “It's an important way of bringing pollinators like birds, bees, and butterflies to an environment where their population can grow, thrive, and continue the vital role they play in the rest of the ecosystem. Franklin's Garden is all about kids, all about their parents and caregivers so they can learn together.”

Jan Thornhill, an Ontario author and illustrator whose work focuses on educating children of all ages about animals, nature, and environment, agreed that the project is  “a great way of helping kids—and adults too, for that matter—understand how the life cycles of many plants are heavily dependent on the contributions of insects. It's important to reinforce kids’ understanding of the connectedness of all life. It’s also a great way to combat anti-insect sentiments, especially in mosquito season!”

Other family attractions open during the summer at Franklin's Children's Garden include the Pine Grove, Hide and Seek Garden, Kids Can Press Little Sprouts Garden, the Turtle Pond, the Snail Trail and the TD Storybook Place amphitheatre.

In June, a major report from dozens of scientists across the world who call themselves the Task Force on Systemic was released.  It found that bees and other pollinators were being threatened with massive declining populations by neonic pesticides, the most widely used pesticides in the world.

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Gwalgen Dent (Gwalgen Geordie Dent)
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Need new organizer for Toronto Swarm event August 16th

We're having trouble finding a replacement organizer for the 'Swarm Toronto' protest against Neonicid pesticides on August 16th. It's a worldwide event, with a few cities listed in Canada so far, and with these multi-city events I've learned over the years that if it goes well in Toronto we get better media coverage in other cities in Canada. The Toronto event is at 4PM in Belleview Square Park in Kensington. Know anyone who could take over as local host?


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