City of Powell River Employees Celebrate Earth Day with Environmental Project

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On April 22, Earth Day, a volunteer brigade of City of Powell River employees launched a project that takes a new approach to enriching environmental well-being, caring for the environment and building a pollinator plot at City Hall.

According to a press release, the pollinator plot is a plot of land dedicated to the proliferation of pollinators by providing food, water and shelter to species such as bees, butterflies and birds.

The statement said the city’s annual employee wellness survey for 2022 indicated that climate distress was a priority for employees and needed attention. Climate distress, also called eco-anxiety, is shorthand for climate-related ecological distress, the statement said.

The idea for the project grew out of learning about pollinator loss and its connection to the food supply chain through the Butterflyway Project, a nationwide movement orchestrated by the David Suzuki Foundation, said Elena Martin, of the VK Wellness Institute of Powell River, which facilitates the project. Since 2020, volunteers have been building pollinator habitats throughout the qathet region, including at least a dozen in the past year, according to Martin.

“Eco-anxiety is really a thing,” Martin said. “I’ve been there myself. As a mother of three and a scientist, I began to worry deeply about our planet and the future of my son’s generation when young people started climate strikes for their Fridays for Future in 2018. Eco-anxiety is on the rise, especially among young people around the world.

In September 2021, a global survey of 10,000 young people in 10 countries, published in the medical journal The Lancet, found that almost half of people aged 16 to 25 reported psychological distress in the face of climate change, with feelings of sadness, anxiety, anger, helplessness, helplessness. , betrayal and guilt, the statement said.

Green care, which is essentially a new term for gardening, has many benefits for general physical, mental and social well-being, a well-known fact in the gardening paradise of Powell River, the statement said. The pollinator patch is intended to increase employee social interaction and raise awareness about mental health, the importance of pollinators and the alarming loss of biodiversity.

“Building something like a pollinator patch is so simple on the surface, yet so deeply rewarding,” Martin said. “It benefits the ecosystem of the whole community and the health and well-being of the individual.”

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