In the summer of 2021, Janet Trogden, a resident on Paffard Street, approached Friends of One Mile Creek (FOMC) to ask if we would be interested in creating a pollinator garden at the entrance to the Heritage Trail at Paffard and Charlotte Streets. This area is the upper reaches of One Mile Creek. A small tributary flows along the Upper Canada Heritage Trail (especially during heavy rainfall), which joins back up with One Mile Creek at King St.
We decided it would be a very good idea not only to enhance the entrance with native flowers, but to provide another corridor as a stopover to feed butterflies, birds, bees and the many other beneficial insects. The town was contacted along with the Heritage Trail Committee and a year later we got the green light to go ahead.
The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) was contacted and Kerry Royer (Coordinator, Community Outreach) visited the site with us where they agreed to provide the native wildflower plants for the project. The NPCA’s Restoration Program advances water quality and biodiversity improvements and in partnership with Friends of One Mile Creek has been naturalizing with native trees and shrubs along with creating pollinator gardens within the One Mile Creek watershed.
With the help of neighbouring residents we prepared the garden bed by removing the turf followed up by planting the wildflower plugs. Janet Trogden and Klara Young-Chin, Project Coordinator with FOMC, were pleased to welcome volunteers who very energetically came out to help plant on Saturday, June 11, 2022. The Town delivered the mulch, which we applied around the newly planted wildflowers.
This wildflower garden will not only be a colourful and inviting sight, but also a beneficial source of food for the wildlife throughout spring, summer, fall, and even during winter with the seeds that fall. The new pollinator garden at the Heritage Trail, which is used by many local residents of NOTL and visitors alike, will hopefully encourage more people and bring more awareness to the urgency of incorporating native flowers in their own gardens. Native flowers are low maintenance, once established no watering is needed. As landowners, making small changes and incorporating native flowers within our gardens can create links and corridors for wildlife and biodiversity to thrive.
Back in 2010, Friends of One Mile Creek planted 85 native trees on this stretch of the Upper Canada Heritage Trail between Paffard St and John St. The variety of species planted includes White Eastern Cedar, White Oak, Red Oak, Sugar Maple and Tulip Tree.
The following species of wildflowers were planted in the pollinator garden June 11, 2022:
- Butterfly Milkweed
- Swamp Milkweed
- White Milkweed
- Virginia Mountain Mint
- Joe-Pye Weed
- Grey-Headed Coneflower
- Dense Blazing Star
- Brown-Eyed Susan
- Bee Balm/Wild Bergamot
- New England Aster
More info on pollinator gardens
For a regional example of an ambitious pollinator project, check out the Hamilton Pollinator Paradise Project, a collaborative initiative between Environment Hamilton and the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club with support from various funders. They are working with the community to build a Pollinator Corridor across the City of Hamilton by planting habitat including native plants, milkweed and other wildflowers.
They provide an excellent guide and toolkit for anyone starting a pollinator garden at hamiltonpollinatorparadise.org/toolkit1.html