The Hakanoa Reserve Pollinator Park was the first one of its kind in all of New Zealand. It was founded in 2016 by Andrea Reid, who was a former student at Unitec studying Landscape Architecture, the idea stemmed from a project that she did at uni to which her teachers encouraged her to transfer it into the real world, as there is a genuine urge and need for this type of instalment. She said the concept came from wanting to generate urban food gardens in the CBD, but she realised that for these to succeed they need to be actively pollinated and due to the worldwide shortage of especially honey bees, this would create a huge issue. She then went on into the research of what native plants are the right ones to use in order to attract all different types of pollinators. Andrea also studied the travel distance that applies to each of these species and realised that the lowest common denominator needs to be used, which is that of the non-flying insects and reptiles (New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects, 2019).
The concept of establishing more urban growing initiatives sparked the need to create pollinator pathways, which is now translated into the Hakanoa Reserve Pollinator Park. She was able to make this in collaboration with Gecko NZ Trust, Aecom and local community groups that were very fond of the idea and soon became stakeholders.
Throughout the planting and creation of this hub, 100 volunteers from the community showed up to help plant and install bee boxes, hydration stations and pollinator walls. Andrea soon realised though that one installation wouldn’t be enough and that in order for this to become really successful, they would have to create an entire pathway that inhabits multiple instalments in order to create a green corridor that really promotes movement for these pollinators in a safe way. With the help of the previous sponsors they now have 6
instalments underway that connect Grey Lynn path with the Coxs Bay Reserve and the Kelmarna Gardens, which was set to be ready by mid 2022 (Pollinator Paths, 2021).
Issues that they are coming across though is how to get neighbours on board in order to create smaller scale projects in private spaces and how to motivate them into wanting to look after their own puzzle piece of the pollinator path.
Although to solve this they have started creating Workshops for people of all ages to attend to these areas of the pathway to learn about the importance of these pollinator instalments, how they are maintained and how different each species needs are.
Andrea Reid has also started her own website named “Pollinator Paths” which encourages people to learn about these and shows them how they can be a part to help.
Another obstacle they want to overcome is to sustain actual data about how these paths are doing, currently they’re just estimating and visually seeing the change that these spaces have created. But they want to invest in research grants and sponsorships in order to get ecologists on board that will be able to research the site in more detail and see how many pollinators are actually using the spaces.
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