Community programs in parks

You can get involved in community stewardship programs in parks throughout spring, summer and fall. This document highlights our activities over the past year (PDF).

On this page

  1. Bee City
  2. Community vegetable garden
  3. Partners in Parks
  4. Community plantings

Bee City

The City of Waterloo is recognized as a Bee City due to our efforts to support native pollinators and their habitat. We do this through education and community stewardship on municipal parkland.

Visit Bee City Canada to learn more about the program and take the Canada-wide Pollinator Protection Pledge!

Waterloo's Pollinator Working Group

The City of Waterloo's pollinator working group provides educational experiences and park stewardship activities relating to native pollinators and their habitat.

Check the events calendar for upcoming activities or subscribe to our Bee City e-newsletter.

Become a Pollinator Working Group volunteer

If available, volunteer openings will be posted on our volunteering page in January each year. For more information, view the working group's terms of reference below and volunteer position description (PDF).

Pollinator Working Group terms of reference

Our goal

The role of the City of Waterloo’s Pollinator Working Group is to support Bee City Canada program initiatives in Waterloo, committing annually to the following:

  • stewardship: create, improve and maintain pollinator habitat on municipal parkland through community planting and managing invasive non-native plant species
  • educate the public about native pollinators at local events within Waterloo Region
  • celebrate native pollinators during National Pollinator Week (3 rd week of June) or at other times
Structure

This pollinator working group consists of up to 12 adults and a city staff liaison from Parks, Forestry and Cemetery Services. Volunteer roles include:

  • chair
  • secretary
  • workday coordinator
  • education coordinator
  • community outreach
  • member at large

The city staff liaison provides direction and guidance regarding event opportunities and work plan initiatives, technical support for park stewardship activities, administrative support and assistance with city promotions and design work.

The long-term plan and objectives of this staff working group will be reviewed by city staff every 5 years or as required. Dissolution of the working group may be triggered if Bee City Canada designation no longer exists, tasks or mandate have been completed or following a program review process.

Meetings and community involvement

The City of Waterloo’s Pollinator Working Group hold monthly meetings on the first Thursday of the month (6:00 – 8:00 p.m.). Meetings generally take place within a city facility but may be held virtually via Microsoft Teams at the discretion of the city staff liaison. Google drive is used for planning and sharing information. These meetings involve planning our involvement in community events and are not open to public participation.

The working group will plan their involvement in local community events within Waterloo Region where they offer educational displays and hands-on activities to educate youth and adults about native pollinators and habitat. The working group host community stewardship activities within parks in Waterloo, held weekday evenings from 4 – 6 p.m. or Saturday morning or afternoon. Volunteers assist at a minimum of one event or stewardship activity per month from May to October.

Appointment
  • if a position vacancy exists, a volunteer recruitment notice will be published on the City website and other sources typically during the month of January of each year
  • to be eligible for consideration, interested applicants must:
    • read and understand the Terms of Reference and Volunteer Position Description
    • complete a volunteer application form and submit a resume with two references
  • Volunteer Services and the City staff liaison will review all applications, carry out interviews and reference checks and recommend appointments
Qualifications for a Pollinator Working Group volunteer

Refer to the Volunteer Position Description for details.


Community vegetable garden

Gardens are located at local parks and public spaces, and run by a team of volunteers. If you're interested in connecting with a garden or having a garden plot, please see the Community Garden Council of Waterloo Region Directory. If you are interested in a new garden or volunteering please contact gardens@waterloo.ca and view the toolkit.

Park locations:


Partners in Parks

This program provides an opportunity to make a difference in your neighbourhood park though environmental improvement activities held from May to October every year.

Short-term stewardship activities

Organize a one-time community stewardship activity between May to October.

Short-term stewardship activities include:

If you're over 18 and interested in organizing an activity, fill out our online form for a short-term stewardship activity one month in advance.

Long-term park projects

Long-term opportunities for park enhancement generally involve ongoing maintenance throughout spring to fall for a three to five year renewable term. 

Plan your project now with these application deadlines:

  • March 31 for a spring or summer project (May 1 – August 31)
  • May 31 for a fall project (September 1 – October 31)

Follow the these steps to submit your project application.

  1. Select a project of interest:
  2. Review the Partners in Park program guide (PDF)
  3. Contact stewardship@waterloo.ca to discuss a new idea or ask questions

Apply for a long term park project


Community plantings

The City is recognized as a Bee City due to our efforts to support native pollinators and their habitat.  During September and October, we invite the community to dig in and plant native trees, shrubs and wildflowers in public parks through our community planting program (PDF).

Get involved! Learn more about native pollinators and healthy habitat, meet new people and help green our community, together.

During events, city staff provide direction, supply tools, and gloves. Bring your own water bottle, wear closed-toe footwear and appropriate clothing for natural areas. Those under 18 years must be supervised by a parent or adult guardian.

Large trees for neighbourhood parks

Neighbourhood Associations or neighbourhood groups can host a park project involving the planting and maintenance of up to 15 trees (10-15 gallon) in your neighbourhood park this fall.
1. View the 2023 community planting information sheet (PDF).
2. Select a park that meets the criteria.
3. Coordinate with your neighbourhood to see if there is interest.
4. Submit the online application form below no later than May 31, 2023

Apply online

Naturalization plantings in parks

Our Pollinator Working Group and Friends of Waterloo Park organize small community planting events in parks that you can participate in. Stay-tuned for details of up-coming events next fall.

Together, we are greening our community one step at a time.