Urban Biodiversity: Green is Good, Colourful is Better

Written by guest blogger, Halifax Public Libraries' 2022-23 Artist & Innovator in Residence, Christine Hempel. Learn more about Christine here; and the Artist in Residence program, here.

Through workshops and open discussions with community members of all ages, Christine proposes some new ideas for biodiversity in Halifax.


From above

What do you see when you look at the above, aerial picture of Halifax?

Many people see a beautiful waterfront city with a vibrant downtown, a busy active harbourfront, fascinating historic sites, many open lawns, and park landscapes.

What do flying birds and insects see when they look at this view?

For wildlife that lives in our city, or those migrating through town on their way somewhere, this view might cause some worry. One of the largest green areas of our downtown is the Federally-owned Citadel site…but there is little shelter or food available to support wildlife.

Identifying the culprit

Lawn mowers use energy and create pollution.

Put a stop to the Federal offense of TOO MUCH MOWING! Imagine how nice it would be if the maintenance team at Citadel Hill had a bit less lawn to worry about. What could they use their time doing instead?

Can we have beautiful lawns and wildlife habitat in our city?

We say YES!!!

Imaginative Citadel solutions from our community

We asked our Library visitors to imagine urban spaces where there are landscapes that make everyone happy.

Grassy slopes for people to fly kites in summer, or go sledding in winter. We have sunny lawns for sunbathing and picnics, and mown paths for strolling. But we also have new landscapes to enjoy… orchards and meadow areas with beautiful flowers and shrubs, shady areas that provide protection, plants that make food, and other creative ideas to ensure that insects, birds, and the small mammals that call Halifax home enjoy the Citadel as much as people do!

Click to view details:

Too much mowing at home

At home we could also do with a little less mowing and a little more wildlife habitat. This apartment building has an extensive mowing team, and residents don’t have much of a chance to enjoy nature from their apartments. It needs a redesign!

Creative apartment solutions from our community

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