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Project Details

Project dates
16/11/2023  – 30/04/2024
Burnaby, BC, Canada

Ida Niksirat

Project Lead

With the help of Embark Sustainability at SFU and Ocean Wise, we plan on installing a number of bee hotels on the Burnaby Mountain campus at SFU. The hotels are meant to show individuals how they can take small steps to creating more sustainable communities by installing such hotels in their own backyards. The installation will be celebrated with a Pollinator Power festival, where faculty and instructors will come to instruct attendees on the importance of pollinators to create a fun day of learning as we welcome the mason bees into their new home.

Project Description

Pollinators are one of the busiest members of our community, and their impact is immeasurably valuable in keeping our ecosystems healthy. To that end, the Pollinator Power festival to be held at SFU will teach attendees about the role of pollinators in our ecosystem, and how climate change is threatening their existence. The festival will be held to celebrate the installation of the first bee hotels on the Burnaby Mountain campus at SFU. The hotels will be maintained by community partners at SFU, and serve the dual purpose of bringing awareness to this topic while maintaining a home for the pollinators that keep our backyards vibrant. Faculty knowledgeable on this topic will teach students attending the festival about the role that pollinators play, and the impact that climate change has on their existence. Attendees will leave the event with pamphlets and ideas on what they can do in their own communities to take care of pollinators. This project creates an opportunity for community building in the face of climate change, and inspires community members to create the change they want to see in their backyard and in the world at large.

My project is focused on teaching students about the importance of local pollinators in their ecosystems. Mason bees have been the focus of this initiative, and how invaluable their impact on our local ecosystem is. On a deeper level, this project is meant to inspire students to take similar small-scale initiatives in their own communities, and teach them about the power of community in the face of climate change.
This project set me up for success if I ever need to pitch a proposal again. I learned how to take my passion and vision for a project and share that enthusiasm with multiple different groups who can help me bring my project to life. I also learned a lot about asking for help during this project, as I needed the expertise of many different people to be able to create a sustainable, well rounded project. Consulting with professors, sustainable activists, and administrators to help install the hotels and host the festival taught me a lot about how to contact professionals in different fields for their expertise.

What was your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge was definitely coordinating multiple different teams of people to create this initiative. Since my project involved installation on private property, many groups had to be consulted to give the green light before we could move ahead with the project. I definitely developed some skills in persistence! It was worth the effort, however, because I was greeted by such warmth and enthusiasm for the project and the impact it would have on the community. Everyone was so happy to help create an installation that would have a lasting impact on not only the ecosystem up at SFU, but on the community working and learning there as well. Keeping in mind the community building and positive impacts on the climate that this project would have motivated me to keep going.

What was your most valuable takeaway?

The biggest takeaway I have from this project is how important it is to involve all the different members of your community when you’re trying to create positive change. The land we live on has such a rich history behind it, and we are privileged to be able to take care of our environment not only for ourselves but for the generations to come. Working with different community partners to generate an action plan for the project was insightful, in that it taught me that it truly takes a village to make a difference in the community. Every person I spoke with or got help from had such a unique and passionate perspective on the importance of community projects for climate change. My belief that it takes the whole community working together to make an impact has only been strengthened by my time working on this project.

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