W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council Helps to Establish New Pollinator Garden at Victoria International Airport (YYJ)

W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council is pleased to announce the Victoria Airport Authority (VAA), in partnership with Pollinator Partnership Canada has built a native species plant pollinator garden at YYJ.

The garden is located along Willingdon Road next to the roadside digital billboard, in W̱SÁNEĆ territory.  The area was originally a thriving Garry oak meadow that supported a rich and diverse ecosystem, featuring grasslands, woodlands, and abundant camas wildflower fields in the spring.  This land holds high significance to the W̱SÁNEĆ People’s culture and history.  The new garden will increase the biodiversity of the area, bring awareness to the importance of native plant species, and honour our original ecosystem. 

Bees are the most effective pollinators with over 450 native bee species in British Columbia alone.  Pollination is an essential process for most plant species to reproduce.  Without pollinators, many plant life cycles would be unsuccessful, affecting everything from food production, and local wildlife, to overall ecosystem health.  Pollinator gardens are most impactful when they are planted with native species to support native pollinators.  Native species have evolved to their landscape and climate over thousands of years which also means they required little care and maintenance to thrive.

Over 2000 plants will be planted within the pollinator garden space of 1100m2.  Many plants and seeds will be dormant until springtime before they can flourish.  The mixture of local plants and shrubs will provide various cycles of plants for the pollinators including habitat during dormant periods.

W̱SÁNEĆ environmental advisors provided guidance on incorporating SENĆOŦEN and traditional plants into the pollinator garden project.

“Any work that reinstates native plants and helps to support the precious ecosystem in our territory is good work. We are pleased to be a part of this project and to work with the Victoria Airport Authority to establish their pollinator garden” shares Gord Elliott, Director of Operations at the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council shares.

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