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Victoria International Airport adds pollinator garden to YYJ grounds

More than 2,000 native species will be planted in 1,100 square metres of garden
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The Victoria International Airport has a new garden on the property aimed at supporting critical pollinators in the environment. (Courtesy Victoria Airport Authority)

Victoria International Airport has a new garden and in addition to helping the space look its best, it is also designed to help pollinator insects thrive.

Located along Willingdon Road near the digital billboard, the native species garden was planted in partnership with Pollinator Partnership Canada, and is in an area which was originally home to a Garry oak meadow.

“When we released our sustainability plan in 2021, one of the highlighted initiatives was to work towards meeting the Aichi Biodiversity targets adopted by the United Nations. We have worked with non-profit, government, industry, business, and First Nations partners to develop projects that will enhance and align with the rest of the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Goals. We are pleased to have been able to build this garden at YYJ with the guidance of FED and Synergy, as well as contributions from all our partner sponsors,” said Ken Gallant, Victoria Airport Authority vice-president, operations in a news release.

More than 2,000 plants will go into the 1,100 square-metre garden, with many seeds lying dormant until spring.

According to the release, bees are the most effective pollinators with more than 450 native bee species in the province. 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.

The airport authority received the input and guidance of staff from WSANEC Leadership Council that helped to incorporate SENCOTEN language and traditional plants into the pollinator garden project.

READ MORE: Victoria airport named most efficient of its size in North America


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