Gardens at BCIT are buzzing with people and pollinators

New students weren’t the only additions to the BCIT Burnaby Campus this fall. Adam Dickinson, Manager of Transportation and Grounds, has added a much smaller but just as important cohort to the BCIT population.

BCIT Garden
BCIT partnered with a local beekeeping company to bring two honey bee hives to campus. This adds to the ongoing efforts to support healthy pollinator populations at BCIT.

Over the summer, Adam partnered with a local beekeeping company to bring two honey bee hives to campus, adding to the ongoing efforts to support healthy pollinator populations within the 140 acres of land at BCIT. After the first few months in their new home, the bees are thriving with a first batch of honey already collected.

Adam is thankful for this sweet benefit, but he didn’t bring the bees to campus for this reason. He and his team are creating an interactive space that can be a site for community workshops that teach about pollinators and the role they play in a thriving and healthy ecosystem.

While bees are some of the most familiar pollinators, others like butterflies, moths, beetles and hummingbirds are all under threat from habitat loss, disease and the use of pesticides, according to Pollinator Partnership Canada. And the consequences are far reaching.

“Flowering plants…feed the terrestrial world, and pollinators are the great connectors who enable this giant food system to work for all who eat… Including us,” says Roger Lang, Chairman for Pollinator Partnership Canada.

SEE MORE: BCIT students are harnessing the power of the sun to address food waste

“Every time you see a berry, it’s because of pollination,” explains Adam, who has helped  BCIT to steadily create habitat on campus to attract native pollinators. The bees are part of a broader vision to create edible gardens, including fruit trees, that promote sustainable gardening practices, provide food for the community, and offer places of respite from the stresses of school and work.

“Our goal is to creative calm and reflective spaces for people to feel refreshed,” says Adam, adding that “Nature is an easy way to do that.”

Already, Adam and his team have seen new water features draw people in to slow down and pause. He hopes the evolving natural spaces will not only improve wellbeing, nature connection and awareness for the humans who live on campus, but will also help to sustain the small, winged inhabitants whose health is so deeply connected to our own.

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This story is part of the monthly Countdown to Ecocity 2019 series, which highlights BCIT’s leadership in the face of today’s complex environment challenges. This initiative supports the Ecocity Standards for Ecological Integrity and Healthy Biodiversity, which support the preservation and restoration of natural habitat.

Learn more about BCIT’s role as host of the Ecocity World Summit in 2019.

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