Visit the pollinator gardens at the Lakeshore Branch and Cookstown Branches – smell the flowers and see if you can spot any Monarch butterfly caterpillars, a hummingbird moth or other pollinating insects. Planted by volunteers, our gardens support butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, moths, and other pollinating insects, many of which have been effected by habitat loss and the use of pesticides. See this Plant List to find out what species we planted at each location.

Monarch Waystations
Both gardens are registered as official Monarch Waystations with Project Monarch Watch. This means that they meet certain criteria to ensure the Monarch butterflies have proper habitat.

Butterfly Nursery
In order to help the monarch butterfly population, we bring eggs in from the milkweed in our Monarch Waystations, and raise them up to butterflies and then release them.

Bees and Birds
This year we set up bird and bee houses at the Lakeshore and Cookstown Branches. The bee houses are for Blue Orchard Mason Bees, one of over 400 native bee species in Ontario. Mason Bees are docile and spend their days pollinating flowers and using mud to make chambers where they lay eggs that will hatch next year. Learn more about Mason Bees.

Mason Bee House

How Can You Help Pollinators?

  • Avoid pesticides
  • Plant native plants
  • Plant milkweed
  • Make sure your garden has a variety of flower shapes
  • Choose different plants based on when they flower so you will have something blooming all the time

Resources

Books

Pollinator Friendly Gardens 

Attracting Native Pollinators 

The New Ontario Naturalized Garden

Children’s Books

Touch a Butterfly: wildlife gardening with kids

What if There Were No Bees? 

The Magic School Bus Plants Seed 

Websites

Pollinator Health (Government of Ontario)

Create a Pollinator Friendly Garden (David Suzuki Foundation)

Journey North (monarch migration)

Native Plants for Pollinators (Credit Valley Conservation)

Hinerland Who’s Who: Monarch Butterfly