Birds and the Bees

Site of the Future garden behind the Nutrien Wonderhub

Birds Group = Scott Barron, Kaylie Bowes, Quinn Buetner, Zach Erickson, and Kennedy Schaalje

Bees Group = Mackenzie Chrun, Taylor Evjen, Jessica Goddard, Althea Matheson, Rachelle Nazar, and Sarah Vogt

Birds and the Bees

With cities ever expanding and green spaces becoming more and more manicured for improved aesthetics, native animal and pollinator habitat have deteriorated rapidly in urban environments. The benefits of native habitats and ecosystems are often overlooked, destroyed or forgotten and seen in low numbers within city limits. Birds help with insect control, pollination, and can be pleasant to the eyes and ears. Pollinators are a fundamental part of creating and maintaining the habitats and ecosystems that contribute to the production of native plants, gardens, and food crops in Saskatoon. Pollination increases plant health, which produces larger yields and provides more nutritious fruits.

To address this issue, we propose a project that would involve locating, securing and creating a space filled with native, pollinator-friendly plant species creating a native bird habitat along the Saskatoon riverbank. The goal is to set up a park style location and install bird houses, feeders, and other bird attractants in the surrounding area in hopes of attracting birds to the area. The design plan includes native plant species and insect houses to encourages pollinators to the area. We plan to include outdoor educational sign at the sanctuary site to raise awareness about the importance of pollinator conservation and educate the public about native birds and their importance in the ecosystem.

Our project “The Birds and The Bees” is separated into two parts, native birds and pollinators. Together our initiatives aim to introduce a native habitat in an urbanized area that can be utilized for recreational and educational use. We hope this sanctuary can be further built upon in the future through the development of educational programming or resources that help the sanctuary function as a place-based learning opportunity for students and teachers. 

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11 Comments

  1. This project seems like a great use of the space! More habitat for birds and bees is important.
    Your teams have framed these paired projects in terms of the benefits these species have to the production of native species, gardens, and crops. Have you done any research to investigate how you might measure and evaluate the ecosystem services of these birds and bees?

    1. Hi Andrew,
      Great question, currently we have not developed a plan to evaluate the ecosystem services of birds and bees based on our project. The goal of our project was to create a place that is both native bird species and pollinator friendly which was a task in itself. The evaluation of ecosystem services would definitely be a wonderful continuation of the project for other university groups in the future.

      Jessica

    1. Hi Tali,
      We hope to have many visitors to the site in the future. We are currently planning on planting in June and will post updates in future once the project progresses.

      Jessica

  2. Thanks all, for this innovative project. You mentioned in the video that your partners will be able to contribute maintenance of the site. Thinking about the plants specifically, do these types of gardens featuring native species require much maintenance, or are they designed in a such a way that they can be largely self-sufficient once established?

    This seems like an ideal location to increase the impact of the project through the educational component. Will your signage (or perhaps complementary exhibits in Wonderhub), provide guidance or advice for home/landowners who may be interested in taking on similar, albeit smaller scale, initiatives themselves(?), perhaps leading to an even greater impact through collective action?

    Great job.

    1. Hi Colin,

      Thank you for reaching out. The site design plan includes native vegetation species that will be mainly self sustainable once established. All the plants are native to the Saskatoon area and were selected base on their soil and climate requirements. The maintenance of the site will include monitoring of vegetation to ensure establishment, general care of vegetation including trimming and watering during times of drought, and ensuring no invasive or unwanted species are present on the site. We have the Naturalized Parks Department at the City of Saskatoon to thank for the ongoing maintenance and care into the future.

      Currently the education signage at the site is designed to educate the public on native bird species, plants and pollinators that will be present at the site. We hope to expand on this in the future and provide education material with information and guidance to the public so they may plant their own native species and pollinator friendly garden.

      Jessica

  3. Great work! This is a huge project with much success already. You’ve already inspired me to contribute to the greater good. I found some native plant seeds taped to the refrigerator (?), threw them into a pot and into the greenhouse with excellent germination. I have my pollinator bees ready to go outside. I can’t wait for your announcement, so I can visit your site to learn more. And thanks for the bird house plans.

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