Eleanor Kidd Park
Imagine what this park could bee!
Imagine new wildflowers!
imagine clean paths!
Bee City Brandon
Imagine new wildflowers!
Brandon was once home to a beautiful, carefully planned, and meticulously landscaped garden called the Eleanor Kidd Garden, located in the Eleanor Kidd Park. Its location next to the Assiniboine River was both an asset and ultimately its downfall: when the river overflowed its banks in 2011 and 2014, the garden was destroyed, and has since become derelict. The Eleanor Kidd Park was a source of incredible pride for Brandon and its citizens, and its destruction occasioned much regret and nostalgia. For example, when the City of Brandon consulted with Brandon residents while creating its 2015 “Greenspace Masterplan,” one respondent stated, “we’re lost without [Eleanor Kidd Park].”
Now, the City of Brandon has invited Bee City Brandon to transform the site into a haven for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Bee City Brandon plans to plant and maintain a prairie pollinator garden at Eleanor Kidd Park, and to transform the Park from a manicured beauty-spot to a vibrant wild-space, abuzz with prairie fauna. We will do so by consulting with local experts, selecting native plants from a local nursery, galvanizing local volunteers, and indigenous inhabitants of the land, which is located on Treaty 2 territory.
Planting native wildflowers will attract native pollinators, helping reduce the well-documented decimation of native pollinator populations.
Pollinators will boost productivity in the large number of private and community gardens in Brandon. The City of Brandon’s 2019 Recreation Master Plan lists the number of community gardens in Brandon as 17, for a total of 802 plots. Moreover, the number of private, homeowner gardens has certainly increased since 2019, for since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, people have been planting vegetable gardens in far greater numbers.
Prairie native wildflowers are drought-resistant, and once they are established in the Eleanor Kidd Park, they will not require regular watering. The Park will therefore provide an example to Brandon residents and visitors of the sorts of flowers that can grow successfully—and virtually unaided—on the Canadian prairies.
We see this project as an opportunity to mobilize the community of Brandon and Western Manitoba to gather together to reclaim a greenspace once left abandoned. Planting native wildflowers in the Eleanor Kidd Park will certainly assist threatened pollinators in the Western Manitoba region, but it will also be a symbolic and healing act for the residents of Brandon. Eleanor Kidd Park, once decimated by flood, will once again be filled with flowers, with life, and with hope for a vibrant, ecologically-sound future.
How can you help?
Planting and maintaining the prairie pollinator gardens at Eleanor Kidd Park will require significant work and commitment from volunteers. In the summer of 2023 Bee City Brandon will be working on controlling the gnarly weeds that have taken over the park. If you would like to volunteer to join us in weeding the garden once or every week (or anything in between), please fill out the form below. We're also happy to give you more information and answer any questions you may have.