New Pollinator Garden at Victoria International Airport (YYJ)
Victoria Airport Authority (VAA) recently partnered with our friends at Pollinator Partnership Canada to build a native species plant pollinator garden at YYJ.
The garden is located along Willingdon Road next to the roadside digital billboard. The area was originally a thriving Garry oak meadow that supported a rich and diverse ecosystem, featuring grasslands, woodlands, and abundant camas wildflower fields in the spring. This land holds high significance to the W̱SÁNEĆ People’s culture and history. The new garden will increase the biodiversity of the area, bring awareness to the importance of native plant species, and honour our original ecosystem.
“When we released our Sustainability Plan in 2021 one of the highlighted initiatives was to work towards meeting the Aichi Biodiversity targets adopted by the United Nations. We have worked with non-profit, government, industry, business, and First Nations partners to develop projects that will enhance and align with the rest of the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Goals. We are pleased to have been able to build this garden at YYJ with the guidance of FED and Synergy, as well as contributions from all our partner sponsors,” said Ken Gallant, Victoria Airport Authority, Vice-President, Operations.
Bees are the most effective pollinators with over 450 native bee species in British Columbia alone. Pollination is an essential process for most plant species to reproduce. Without pollinators, many plant life cycles would be unsuccessful, affecting everything from food production, and local wildlife, to overall ecosystem health. Pollinator gardens are most impactful when they are planted with native species to support native pollinators. Native species have evolved to their landscape and climate over thousands of years which also means they required little care and maintenance to thrive.
Over 2000 plants will be planted within the pollinator garden space of 1100m2. Many plants and seeds will be dormant until springtime before they can flourish. The mixture of local plants and shrubs will provide various cycles of plants for the pollinators including habitat during dormant periods.
Sponsorship partners for this project have included to date; FED, Synergy, Island Earth, Listco Irrigation, Vancity, Stantec, Pollinator Partnership Canada and Victoria Airport Authority to bring this project to fruition. We also acknowledge the input and guidance of staff from W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council that helped to incorporate SENĆOŦEN language and traditional plants into the pollinator garden project.
About Victoria Airport Authority
Victoria Airport Authority is a not-for-profit authority that has managed the safe and secure operations of the Victoria International Airport on behalf of the surrounding communities since April 1, 1997.
Media Contact Victoria Airport Authority
Rod Hunchak – Director, Business Development and Community Relations