Bee City Canada extends its warmest welcome to the Calgary Zoological Society, the first Bee City Business in Alberta! As long standing wildlife conservation advocates, we are excited to recognize the Calgary Zoo for their commitment to habitat conservation, education and community engagement in support of pollinators.
Spanning 125 acres, with an additional 300 acre endangered species breeding facility, the zoo grounds host thousands of nectar-rich native plants, with varying and overlapping bloom times, and floral shapes to satisfy a diverse population of pollinators. Also, the zoo’s approach for managing plant life, incorporating forest floor, understory, shrub and tree layers, provides a diverse and healthy habitat where pollinators can thrive. In 2015, the ‘Pollinator Garden’ was created in a high-profile area, providing additional habitat while also increasing public engagement and creating awareness about the importance of pollinators.
The zoo’s bid to join the Bee City family was strengthened by its ongoing efforts to educate visitors. This is done through interpretive signage in various prominent locations as well as interactive programs. For example, last year, visitors learned how to pot native species, which they were able to take home and plant in their gardens. Also, the zoo estimates that over 65,000 school children participate in educational events annually, a number of which are related to pollinators. Additional educational activities focus on zoo staff, usually taking place at important times of the year, such as the spring planting season.
The Bee City Business program recognizes socially responsible businesses, non-profit groups and other organizations that are taking action to protect pollinators. Like Bee City Canada’s programs for cities and schools, participants in the Business program are asked to commit to:
- Creating new, maintaining or improving existing pollinator habitat
- Educating employees, customers and the local community about the importance of pollinators, and
- Celebrating International Pollinator Week.
The Calgary Zoo joins three Ontario-based organizations which enrolled in the program in 2017.
We thank the Calgary Zoo for their commitment and tremendous efforts to promote pollinator conservation. As a Bee City Business, the Calgary Zoo is actively participating in a campaign supported by more than 24 cities, schools, and businesses that have committed to do their part to create healthy landscapes, educate Canadians and celebrate the beauty of pollinators.