By: Alison Feist, Green Venture Volunteer
You may often hear us mention biodiversity and native plants, but why are they so important?
Biodiversity is important because everything is connected – living things, ecosystems, and natural processes. This dynamic system of nature allows us to thrive, be resilient to disasters, and sustain earth processes that support life. Biodiversity is threatened because of human actions like land development, agriculture, filling up our landfills, and pollution.
In Hamilton, we need to take action and bring biodiversity back in our city!
One way in which everyone can contribute to sustaining a healthy environment is by planting native trees, shrubs, and flowers. This can have many benefits for our city, including:
- Supporting pollinators like bees and butterflies
- Supporting habitat for other native species
- Improving stormwater management by soaking up stormwater to prevent flooding and protecting our water bodies from polluted runoff (see our Stormwater Blog Post!)
- Protecting our soil, air and water
- Adding aesthetic beauty (views of nature are proven to be beneficial for our wellbeing!)
How can you contribute and bring biodiversity back?
Participate in a BioBlitz! A BioBlitz brings together experts, citizen scientists and the general public to inventory all species in an area over a 24-hour period. The records of species are then put together, providing a snapshot of the biodiversity in that area on that date.
On Saturday, September 21st, the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System members and partners will be organizing a BioBlitz + Native Plant Sale at the Royal Botanical Gardens!
We will be at this event discussing the importance of biodiversity, why it is important here in Hamilton, and how you can help protect and restore biodiversity. There will be fun activities and opportunities throughout the day to learn about one of Canada’s biodiversity hotspots from many local experts and native plant growers.
We will also be selling our butterfly milkweed, swamp milkweed and a couple other species of native plants (joe pye weed, blue vervain, & wild geranium). Our milkweed and native plant sales support our education and stewardship programs at EcoHouse and in the community, and you’ll also be supporting pollinators and other wildlife by having these important plants in your garden.
How will you take action and support biodiversity?
Find out more about the BioBlitz + Native Plant Sale here: https://www.rbg.ca/bioblitz