On Saturday morning, a “pollinator pathways” project that has caught the imagination of a group of local citizens took a next step towards blossoming into life in Peterborough.
18 curious and committed people — from the area’s leading naturalist, to gardeners, a beekeeper, current and retired teachers, a GIS specialist, community organizers and a 6-month-old baby — gathered together in response to an open invitation to co-create the next stage of the initiative.
“Really the idea for pollinator pathways is citizen-led,” says Carlotta James, one of the originators of the project. (See the video below, by videographer Amber Pula.) “The idea behind it is to reimagine what urban space can look like.”
The process is now in a wider discovery and invitation stage — starting with identifying the energy and capacity that already exists (lots), and linking that, and supporting each other, says Jo Hayward-Haines, an initiator of the idea. “I mean there are all kinds of people who already know a lot and have native species growing in their gardens.”
Peterborough GreenUP, Farms at Work, Camp Kawartha and others have worked for years to build skills and promote pollinators, and all the ways that they can bring more beauty, habitat and the experience of wild nature into the city.
The gathering moved from connecting to dreaming to doing. Multiple practical projects and a lot of personal connections, a-ha moments and possibilities came out of the dialogue, a process designed and hosted by Peterborough Dialogues.
Linda Gendron, a teacher who brought a personal dream of a schoolyard project, ended the morning saying it now feels possible. “I came here today kind of vaguely: ‘I’d really like to do this, I don’t know how, I don’t have enough knowledge to do this.’ And I’m leaving really thrilled that I think that this is going to be a reality.”
“There are a lot of doors that have opened and I didn’t even know the doors were there,” said new Peterborough resident Seana Murdock, who joined the group with her baby daughter Ophelia. “I came in with certain ideas and my mind’s been blown. It’s pretty amazing what can happen in a couple of hours.”
The gathering and the next steps in the invitation were co-funded by initiators and participants. Watch for more stories at peterboroughdialogues.media, including multiple ways to get involved.