Help make Selwyn Township a Pollinator Paradise!

In 2018, the Township became the 18th community in Canada to be designated as a Bee City. Becoming a Bee City means that the Township is part of a North American movement to support pollinators through habitat creation, protection, and public education.

Pollinators are important to our local ecosystems and communities. Pollinators include a diverse group of insects and animals, including bees, birds, and butterflies, that carry pollen from one plant to another. Over 75% of flowering plants require pollination, including many of the crops we depend on for food.

Taking action to protect pollinators and their habitats helps support local food production, maintain a healthy environment for wildlife and the community, and also supports climate change action. Warming temperatures and changing weather patterns have a negative impact on pollinators. Creating and protecting pollinator habitat helps prevent biodiversity loss and supports climate change mitigation by maintaining or planting vegetation that sequesters carbon dioxide.

How the Township is Taking Action

The Township of Selwyn has been actively working to support pollinators in the local area, through partnerships, pollinator gardens, and naturalization programs. This work supports the Township’s Bee City designation, as well as the goals of the Township’s Climate Change Action Plan.

“Pollinators are important and protecting them helps create a healthy environment. Supporting pollinators is a community effort and everyone has a role to play. You can plant a pollinator garden, reduce the use of pesticides, or get involved in a project in the community!” 

- Selwyn Township Mayor Sherry Senis

Pollinator Projects

Shoreline Naturalization
The Township of Selwyn has been actively working to support pollinators in the local area. Through partnerships with the Otonabee Region Conservation Authority (ORCA) and Lakefield College School, the Township has naturalized parts of the Otonabee River shoreline by planting native shrubs and vegetation, including winterberry, fragrant sumac, flowering raspberry, and white yarrow.
Depave Paradise
In 2021, the Township partnered with GreenUP, Green Communities Canada, and Winfield Shores on a Depave Paradise project, where a 100m2 area was depaved and planted with native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers. This project provided community greenspace, a pollinator-friendly garden, and is helping divert 75,000 litres of rainwater from the stormwater system each year.
Pollinator Gardens
There are also several pollinator gardens in Selwyn Township. The Lakefield District Horticultural Society created a pollinator garden at Isabel Morris Park in Lakefield, and another pollinator garden was created at the Lakefield Library. The Ennismore Library also received a grant through Canadian Heritage to plant a pollinator garden that supports local biodiversity, while also being a monument to Indigenous people impacted by the Canadian residential school system.
Naturalizing Township Property

In 2020 a Service Delivery Review of the Parks and Recreation Department was completed and it was recommended that the Township pilot a naturalization program at Township recreation facilities, including Douglas Sports Park, Chemong Park and the Robert E. Young Sports Complex. Allowing select areas of Township-owned property to naturalize supports pollinators and the environment, enhances greenspace for the community, and reduces maintenance requirements, including watering and lawn cutting, which saves time and staff resources.

To date, areas at Douglas Sports Park and the Robert E. Young Sports Complex have been naturalized, with the hopes of expanding this program to other municipal parks and spaces.

See our Pollinator Paradise Map to learn more about upcoming naturalization projects in the Township!

Get Involved

Supporting pollinators in the Township is a community effort. There are many ways you can take action at home and in the community to support pollinators and the environment.

Plant a Pollinator Garden

Illustration of a pollinator garden

A pollinator garden protects and supports pollinators by creating food and shelter. Pollinator gardens are also beneficial to the environment, as they often incorporate native plants which require less watering and maintenance.

Here are some tips on creating a pollinator garden at home:

  • Plant a diversity of plants to support a variety of pollinators
  • Plant flowers that bloom at different times to ensure a consistent source of food
  • Incorporate native species that are adapted to our region
  • Consider adding a water source, such as a bee bath
  • Create habitat by adding bee houses or leaving leaf litter in the garden
  • Purchase seeds or plants from local nurseries or through GreenUP. GreenUP offers Pollinator Garden Kits and Water Wise Garden Kits through the Ecology Park Nursery. The Ennismore Library also has a “Take a Seed, Leave a Seed” program where you can take seeds to plant at home or donate extra seeds for others to use. 


Reduce the Use of Pesticides

Pesticides are harmful to pollinators. A pesticide is a substance used to control unwanted plants, insects, and pests. Pesticides can impact pollinator health and even lead to death.

If possible, avoid using pesticides in your garden. This is better for pollinators, the environment, and your health. One way to avoid the need for pesticides is to plant native species that are adapted to the local environment and less likely to attract pests.

If you have a pest problem, you can minimize harm to pollinators by:

  • Accurately diagnosing the pest problem to ensure you’ve selected the right solution
  • Consider manual removal of pests through traps if possible, before using a pesticide
  • If you choose to use a pesticide, follow the application instructions and only apply it where needed

Visit the Pollinator Partnership website for more information.

Delay Garden Clean Ups

One way to support pollinators is to delay garden clean ups until the spring. Many pollinators overwinter in gardens, using plants and debris as shelter. Leaving leaves and dead plants in our gardens in the fall provides pollinators with the habitat they need to survive the winter.

To minimize disturbance to overwintering insects and pollinators, you should wait until April, or until temperatures are consistently above 10 degrees, to clean up your garden.

Fall garden tips:

  • Leave the leaves where they are. Leaf litter provides habitat for pollinators and insects, acts as a fertilizer for lawns as it breaks down, and can be used as mulch for your garden.
  • If raking the leaves, make sure to rake lightly and not disturb the soil underneath. This will help ensure that the insects stay protected.
  • Pile leaves around garden beds or in corners of your yard to ensure pollinators have shelter through the winter.

Visit the Bee City Canada website for more information.

Take the Bee City Pollinator Pledge

Take the pollinator pledge and join others across Canada working to protect pollinators. Pollinators live in our backyards and we can help by pledging to protect their habitats.

The pledge involves:

  • Choosing to create pollinator habitats by adding native plants to the garden
  • Choosing to put in at least 3 flowering plants to bloom in each season
  • Choosing to reduce carbon output where possible
  • Choosing to “leave the leaves” in the garden over the winter
  • Choosing to actively promote protection for pollinators and their habitats

Take the pledge on the Bee City Canada website.

Get Involved in the Community
There are many groups in Selwyn Township, including service clubs and horticultural societies, that support planting projects, including pollinator gardens and land naturalization. To learn about upcoming events that you could participate in, visit the Township’s Event Calendar, or contact these organizations directly.

Pollinator Paradise Map

This interactive map shows pollinator gardens and naturalization projects in Selwyn Township. Scroll through the map to learn about existing and planned projects.

Register Your Pollinator Garden

Do you want to showcase your garden as part of the Pollinator Paradise project? Promote your efforts to support pollinators in Selwyn Township by registering your garden using the form below. Once your information has been verified, your garden will be showcased on the Pollinator Paradise Map.

Register your Pollinator Garden

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