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PHOTOS: Town of Okotoks creates pollinator-friendly garden

Designated a Bee City since 2021, Okotoks continued its bee-friendly ways by creating a pollinator garden in town.

The Town of Okotoks continued its bee-friendly ways with the planting of a pollinator garden in Waller Park on July 12. 

In May 2021, Okotoks was designated as a Bee City on behalf of the Bee City Canada Program for its work in protecting pollinators. As a Bee City, Okotoks was eligible to apply for the Native Plant Habitat Grant, which provides free supplemental native seed or plants, including nectar and pollen-producing trees, to assist habitat projects. 

The Town was selected to receive grant funds for creating a pollinator-friendly garden in a river valley park area, which will provide food and habitat for hundreds of pollinators, including the extra efforts being made to create habitat for the monarch butterfly.  

Grant funds will be used mainly for perennial flowering plants along with some saplings, which not only support pollinators, but also enhance the riparian area along the Sheep River. 

“Funding and projects like this continue to help us protect and support native pollinators, and we are excited to see the vibrant ecosystem grow in our community,” says Jinny Toffelmire, Town of Okotoks environment and sustainability coordinator. 

Since becoming a Bee City, the Town has implemented a number of initiatives to improve pollinator habitat across the community, including reducing pesticide use, replacing traditional turf with a combination of native pollinator-friendly plants and ornamental grasses in many areas, including boulevards and medians, such as along Veterans Way, and protecting the Sheep River Valley. 

The Bee City program requires municipalities to pledge to create and promote healthy, sustainable habitats for pollinators like bees, butterflies and moths. Currently, seven municipalities in Alberta have pledged to be Bee Cities, while more than 75 municipalities across Canada are part of the program. 

To learn more about the Town’s Bee City commitment and how residents can participate, visit 

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