At the District of Cental Saanich's Newman Farm in Saanichton (photo, right), the Farmlands Trust Society is planting hedgerows and bee-friendly flowers, engaging in orchard rejuvenation and producing an array of vegetables—the Society is also practicing Integrated Pest Management by not using chemicals on the Farm. The result has been more habitat for beneficial insects, such as bees.
The Society’s commitment to environmental stewardship and pollinator conservation has not gone unnoticed. In fact, they’ve won the Pollinator Advocate Award for Canada from the Pollinator Partnership—the world’s largest organization dedicated to the protection and promotion of pollinators.
On behalf of the District of Central Saanich, for the last six years, the Farmlands Trust Society has been gradually returning the over 100-year-old historic Newman Farm to active agricultural uses. The Society leads the “field to plate” initiative at Newman Farm where Farmlands Trust volunteers grow, harvest, and donate local fruits and vegetables to those in need at Our Place Society in Victoria. Their work aids in relieving poverty and mitigating food insecurity for marginalized populations.
The Farmlands Trust Society is also an important and active member of the Island Pollinator Initiative, promoting the pollinators that are responsible for the more than 46,000 pounds of produce harvested to date for the “field to plate” initiative.
Multi-partner collaboration: A wise practice for pollinator advocacy in the Greater Victoria region. Back Row - Left to Right: Mayor Ryan Windsor (District of Central Saanich), Councillor Zeb King (District of Central Saanich). Front Row – Left to Right: Elder Greg Sam (Tsartlip First Nation), Hon. Lana Popham (BC Ministry of Agriculture), Carol Pickup (Farmlands Trust Society Chair), and Jennifer Lotz
( Pollinator Partnership Canada)
The Pollinator Advocate Award recognizes individuals who have significantly contributed to pollinator protection, conservation, and issue outreach resulting in increased awareness of the importance of pollinators and pollination. The Farmlands Trust Society shares this great honor this year with U.S. Pollinator Advocate Dr. Andony Melathopoulos, assistant professor in the Oregon State University Department of Horticulture who is integral to the success of the Oregon Bee Project, and Mexican Pollinator Advocates César Damian and Elena Barba, co-founders and directors of FRONDA. Collaboration with efforts in the United States and Mexico will be the only way that pollinators will continue to thrive in Canada.
“Without pollinators, we would lose one third of our diet, nearly all of our high-nutrient food, most terrestrial ecosystems would collapse, important plant species that provide the raw materials for medicines would die out, and the biosphere would stop filtering air and freshwater for us and other wildlife,” says Jennifer Lotz of Pollinator Partnership Canada. “The world as we know it depends on pollinators. Pollinators require healthy clean habitat, and factors such as uncontrolled development, agricultural intensification, chemical misuse, and pathogen introduction are decimating their populations. Some species have seen a 90 percent decline in their populations over the last decade."
For more information about the Pollinator Advocate Award, Pollinator Partnership, and the NAPPC, please visit www.pollinator.org.
The Farmlands Trust (Greater Victoria) Society
The Farmlands Trust (Greater Victoria) Society works to enhance farming capacity in the Greater Victoria area by protecting local farmland, protecting eco-sensitive and culturally special areas, producing food for those in need, providing relevant educational opportunities, promoting the economic viability of farmland, and providing community access and public awareness programs. This charitable non-profit located in Saanichton, British Columbia, collaborates with a diverse community, resulting in over 900 supporters.
Pollinator Partnership is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and the largest in the world exclusively dedicated to the protection and promotion of pollinators and their ecosystems. The Pollinator Partnership's mission is to promote the health of pollinators, critical to food and ecosystems, through conservation, education, and research. Signature initiatives include the NAPPC (North American Pollinator Protection Campaign), S.H.A.R.E., National Pollinator Week, and the Ecoregional Planting Guides.
NAPPC is a collaborative effort of over 160 organizations in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico whose common goal is to promote awareness of the essential role that pollinators play in food systems and ecosystems, and to provide the public with simple, effective ways to engage in environmental stewardship.