Twelve Mile Creek Islands Habitat Enhancement
The Niagara Restoration Council has partnered with the Port Dalhousie Beautification and Works Committee for the Twelve Mile Creek Islands Habitat Enhancement Project. With funding from the Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund and Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk, two islands (Rennie and Henley) in Port Dalhousie were converted into pollinator gardens. The islands were previously mowed grass which provided very little ecological benefit.
Since the site consisted of poor soil quality, compost and topsoil was brought into the site to help the pollinator plants grow. The Region of Niagara donated 500 tons of compost and Rankin Construction donated 600 tons of topsoil for the project. A community planting event was held on the island which brought over 250 volunteers. Volunteers planted approximately 19,000 native wildflowers and 1360 shrubs within the gardens. A section of both islands was broadcasted with 27kg of native grass and wildflower seed over approximately 1.5 acres.
The location of the gardens is ideal for monarch butterflies to rest and forage before or after their trip across Lake Ontario. Native wildflowers and shrubs were planted to attract other pollinators including bees, butterflies, beetles and ants. The implementation of the gardens also helps to improve rainfall runoff and water quality.
The completion of the project could not have been possible without the support of many organizations including: Region of Niagara, Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, City of St. Catharines, Port Dalhousie Beautification and Works Committee, Rankin Construction, and the Canadian Henley Rowing Corporation.