Youth Rain Action
© 2016 Sheila Colla
Can you tell a wild (native) bee from a honey bee? Did you know there’s a difference?
Despite their importance, wild bees face unprecedented threats and urban habitats are proving more and more important for their populations.
In addition to their significant role in food security, bees — particularly the wild ones — are important pollinators of our native plants, including trees. Many of our native plants have co-evolved with certain wild bee species and rely on them to reproduce. But Ontario’s bee populations are declining.
Luckily, there are simple things we can do in our yards to support wild bees in the city! Here are three ways to get started:
1. Design your garden with wild bees in mind: ensure there is a continuous succession of nectar- and pollen-producing plants flowering from spring through fall. Plant different flower colours, shapes and heights. Native bees are generally attracted to white, yellow, blue and purple flowers.
2. Keep existing habitat in your yard: in other words “let it bee”. Leave dead stems on plants in fall so solitary bees can use them as nesting habitat. Where possible, leave cavities in the ground (left by rodents) or in trees for our only wild social bees (bumblebees) to nest in. These cavities also provide a good place for bees to hide during storms.
3. Avoid buying plants that have been pre-treated with synthetic pesticides: neonicotinoids and other systemic pesticides can be very harmful to bees. Ask your nursery or plant supplier to confirm their plants are neonicotinoid-free.
If you live in Ajax, Toronto, or York Region, you can purchase a Native Bee Garden Kit through LEAF to easily create bee-friendly habitat in your yard! The kits contain a variety native shrubs and perennials that support wild bees, and come with garden plans to assist you with design and planting. LEAF also offers a variety of native trees and shrubs that support native bees through the Backyard Tree Planting Program.
To learn more about the threats our wild bees are facing and the simple things you can do to help, join us on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at the North York Civic Centre for a presentation from native pollinator expert Sheila Colla, Ph.D. Event details and registration here.
TRCA has partnered with LEAF to offer additional subsidies on native trees and Edible Garden Kits for homes in the Black Creek SNAP program area. Many of these species can provide vital habitat for wild bees in the city. Click here for a map and more information about this project!
Melissa Williams is the Program Manager at LEAF – Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests. LEAF is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and improvement of the urban forest that offers many planting, education and stewardship programs across Ajax, Mississauga, Toronto and York Region.
Join us to learn about what you can do to help prevent basement flooding in your home!
Guest expert Pete Karageorgos, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), will discuss how to mitigate this risk and answer your questions.
Pete has over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry and is currently Director, Industry and Consumer Relations, Ontario at the IBC.
The City of Toronto staff will also provide information about the City’s Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program and Mandatory Downspout Disconnection Program.
This workshop is presented by Harvest the Rain, a water and energy conservation program designed to save you money! For more information about this workshop or the program, call your Program Advisor at 416-845-7532 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Caledon SNAP is located in a mature neighbourhood in Bolton, Caledon’s major urban centre, within the Humber River watershed. Located in west Bolton, the neighbourhood is west of the historic core and is comprised mostly of residential properties, with pockets of commercial and institutional development. The neighbourhood is also comprised of parks, schools, green spaces and trails, and is transversed by Jaffrey’s Creek, a tributary of the Humber River. The local demographic is a mix of young to middle-aged families and older couples ranging in cultural diversity.
This is one of six SNAPs happening across the GTA, and will focus on working with the community to achieve measurable environmental and neighbourhood improvement. Critical municipal priorities, neighbourhood-specific issues and multiple watershed and regional objectives will be addressed across a range of theme areas including:
• Long-standing drainage and erosion issues in Jaffrey’s Creek and surrounding catchment;
• Improved water balance and Low Impact Development (LID);
• Watershed regeneration;
• Regional urban forest and public health priorities;
• Energy consumption ‘hot spots’; and,
• Increase active transportation.
This project is being led by the Town of Caledon, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and the Region of Peel, working closely with neighbourhood residents and businesses. The SNAP will be an on-the-ground demonstration of the Town’s Community Climate Change Action Plan.
We want to get local residents and businesses involved in developing the Caledon SNAP. Keep an eye out for us at your local events! To get onto our mailing list, contact:
Jose M. Torcal
Coordinator, Caledon SNAP, TRCA
416.661.6600 ext. 5923
Shannon Leigh Carto
Climate Change Coordinator, Energy and Environment, Town of Caledon
905.584.2272 ext. 4022
We’re here to help you improve and renew your neighbourhood – to make it more sustainable, resilient and adapt better to future extreme weather. We provide you with tools and understanding so that you can make the best decisions for your home, property and family.
1) Home Consultations:
Call us to arrange for a Program Advisor to visit your home and explain what may help protect your property from stormwater damage. These 20 minute visits will include a walk-around your property to review how your home and property can not only better manage stormwater, but also how you can potentially make use of this free resource! Pertinent information will be provided to you according to your needs.
2) Spring Workshops:
Join us to learn how to disconnect your downspout and more! Learn how to ‘Green your Grounds’ with such things as rain barrels and rain gardens. Representatives from the Region and Municipality will also be there to provide information on rebate programs and answer questions. Click here to reserve a seat.
Dates: Tuesday, April 5th, 2016
Tuesday, April 19th, 2016
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016
Time: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Place: Burnhamthorpe Library, 3650 Dixie Rd, Mississauga
3) Burnhamthorpe SNAP Information Station:
We want to get to know you, the residents of Burnhamthorpe SNAP. And, we want you to get to know us! Come out and learn about the SNAP action plan developed for your neighbourhood and our newly introduced residential program you can take advantage of right now!
Burnhamthorpe SNAP Program Advisor: 416-786-5064 or email@example.com
When: Sunday May 29th, 2016, 3-5pm
Where: John Booth Community Centre Parking Lot, 230 Gosford Blvd, North York
If you live in the Black Creek SNAP area (click here for map), you may be eligible for a free rain barrel. Call or email Michelle at 416-845-7532 or firstname.lastname@example.org to order your barrel.
Barrels cost only $50 and include a filter basket, overflow and interconnectivity outlet, 8ft overflow hose, dispensing hose, nipple and spigot.
Please place order by: Sunday May 22, 2016
From 10am to 12pm, tour the beautiful gardens of our Harvest the Rain champions, see how they are saving money on their water and energy bills, and be entered into a draw for some great garden prizes!
Garden tours followed by a community corn roast & celebration from 12pm to 2pm in Hullmar Park with our program partners and Councillor Perruzza. Come meet your neighbors and engage in fun activities for the whole family!
Click here for the event flyer and more details.