Volunteers Assist at Pollinator Garden Installation- Open Natural Space



Newly Installed Mickey DiFruscio & Family Legacy Pollinator Project Gardens

The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) is pleased to announce the completion of two new pollinator gardens this summer, at LaFortune Park in Haldimand County and Terry Fox Trail in the City of St. Catharines.

The gardens were installed in late June as part of the Mickey DiFruscio and Family Legacy Pollinator Project— an initiative that honours former NPCA Board Member, Mickey DiFruscio, who served from 1993 to 2019 and dedicated 25 years to improving the Niagara Peninsula watershed. Mickey is a strong advocate for the protection and restoration of habitat for monarch butterflies and other pollinators and continues this valuable work at 95 years of age.

Through tremendous collaboration, 3,000 native wildflowers and shrubs were planted across both sites. The two plantings were led by volunteers from local community groups, the Fitzgerald Neighbours, and the Friends of LaFortune Park, who organized the plantings, coordinated in-kind support and necessary approvals from the municipalities. A total of 22 dedicated volunteers, including NPCA Board Member John Metcalfe and members of the Haldimand Horticultural Society, supported the projects, getting their hands dirty and weathering the extreme heat to plant and water these native plants.

The gardens are two of several pollinator gardens that have been installed across the watershed in Mickey’s honour. Since 2017, the NPCA has established gardens at Mel Swart Lake Gibson Conservation Park in Thorold, Morgan’s Point Conservation Area in Wainfleet and Virgil Dam Conservation Area in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and most recently at Fairview Cemetery in Niagara Falls and HH Knoll Park in Port Colborne last September.

“All Mickey DiFruscio and Family Legacy Pollinator Gardens contain only native species of plants that serve as either host or nectar sources for native pollinator species,” says Kerry Royer, Community Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator at NPCA. “We encourage everyone to incorporate native plants into public and private green spaces, including cemeteries, golf courses, parks, backyard gardens and road allowances, where appropriate. Pollinator habitat in urban spaces can have large environmental benefits including increased biodiversity, wildlife viewing opportunities, education, and water quality improvement.”

The NPCA is grateful to community and municipal partners and volunteers, for their help with planting, watering and continuously caring for these gardens. A special thank you to Flora Miller from the Friends of LaFortune Park and Mike Kraft from Fitzgerald Neighbours for their leadership and dedication to the installation of these gardens.  

For more information on the NPCA, visit www.npca.ca. Follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter for more updates.


About NPCA:

The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) is a community-based natural resource management agency that works to protect, enhance, and sustain healthy watersheds. With 61 years of experience, the NPCA offers watershed programs and services that focus on flood and hazard management, source water protection, species protection, ecosystem restoration, community stewardship, and land management.

The NPCA is one of 36 Conservation Authorities in the Province of Ontario and manages 41 Conservation Areas within the Niagara Peninsula watershed held in public trust for recreation, heritage preservation, conservation, and education. These natural and shared greenspaces marry nature, culture, and adventure to create limitless opportunities for discovery.

Questions related to the above release should be directed to:
Erika Navarro, Communications Specialist
Mobile: 905-650-4027