Youth take the lead in Victoria's Pollinator Leadership Team
By Thompson Hyggen, Pollinator Leadership Team and Pollinator Partnership Canada Summer Intern
Youth often have unique perspectives on current issues but sometimes don’t have an opportunity to act on these. Myself, along with 16 other young people from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, were given a chance to learn about pollinators, and then organize and carry out a pollinator monitoring and outreach project. Designated the “Pollinator Leadership Team”, we are youth with diverse backgrounds in education and skillsets; some members are in high school and active in environmental clubs and others are engaged in or have completed post-secondary education. Regardless of experience, we are united by our drive to be involved in pollinator conservation, something that makes all the difference in my opinion.
To help with community involvement and education, the Pollinator Leadership Team has formed connections with local organizations and homeowners to create more pollinator habitat. With increasing native plant coverage in the city as one of our main goals, we provided and planted some pollinator-friendly native plants with a local community garden. The planting process was a great opportunity to connect with other community members, who stopped by to check out what was going, and some even stayed to help. We have also been contacted by multiple other local businesses and gardens to assist with pollinator monitoring, education and planting. In the upcoming months, we will continue building these relationships to increase community knowledge and appreciation of local pollinators while creating more native habitat.
The project was created and led by Pollinator Partnership Canada, in partnership with the Royal BC Museum and with funding from the City of Victoria and the Victoria Natural History Society.