Earlier this year a friend hatched a plan to create a pollinator pathway in our small town of Cumberland, BC. When she was awarded a small grant toward the project, she reached out for help to make it happen. Soon we were a group of four and began meeting regularly to plan the project. The goal was to create safe havens for pollinators throughout the village. This means providing continuous blooms throughout the season because food and shelter need to be easy to find and always available!

Kids in the garden along the pollinator pathway in Cumberland BC
Kids in the garden.


We toured each other’s yards to gain inspiration and explored the back lanes and pathways that connect the village. We learned what species of perennial flowers might do well in this area and made note of pollinator friendly flowers that are already established. There were more than I expected! Red flowering currant made an early appearance, and sunny yellow leopard’s bane brightened up shady corners early in the season. A little later, towering foxgloves covered hillsides and grew along fences. These will all bloom year after year, a bonus for pollinators!

Broom busting cumberland bc pollinator pathway
Broom busting, pollinator pathway in Cumberland, BC.

New Ideas

Part of our project involved sourcing supplies to create new gardens and augment existing ones throughout the village. West Coast Seeds very generously donated a box full of pollinator friendly seed packets — it felt like Christmas when the box arrived! So far, we have used the seeds in two ways. In late spring we spent two days ‘broom busting’ along a busy roadway in the village and sprinkled packets of Pacific Northwest Blend and Beneficial Insect Blend in its place. We are hopeful that next spring there will be beautiful (and non-invasive!) blooms in place of the scotch broom. In June we also used seed packets at the community elementary school garden. This was a fun project that involved teaching a Grade 1 class about pollinators and plants and converting one of the garden beds to a pollinator friendly garden. This was a great opportunity to share information about different types of pollinators and the link to food security.

Food and flowers grown in Cumberland BC
Food and flowers.

Community Engagement

One of our goals was to share what we have learned about pollinators with others. To this end, we organized the creation of beautiful little wooden signs to place in pollinator friendly gardens around the village: “A stop on the Cumberland Pollinator Pathway — Food, Nesting, Resting”. They really do a wonderful job of explaining what pollinators need! We are hopeful they will inspire others to think of pollinators in their gardening plans.
Now that the seasons are changing and the rain is finally falling, our little group plans to take break over the winter. But with seed packets left over, the next gardening season means we can get started earlier in the year and spread more love for pollinators!

sign for the pollinator pathway in cumberland bc.
Wooden signs placed in pollinator friendly gardens.