WWF's Conservation Innovation Awards

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Gathering votes

Pollinator Wall

Pollinator Paths is a network strategy that is bringing together local communities and school children to create habitat for urban pollinators in their local parks. These Pollinator Parks will create a matrix that connects New Zealand's parks and reserves together to form pollination pathways. These pathways will help bring crucial pollinators into our urban areas, empowering communities and enabling our growing urban food network to thrive.

This is a grassroots approach and our first Pollinator Park has recently opened in Hakanoa Reserve in Grey Lynn, Auckland and has being supported by the local board and a very passionate community.

For stage 2 we are creating an iconic modular wall that will be filled by school children and community groups with an array of different habitat materials and plants that support NZ’s urban pollinators. Each hexagonal cell will be filled with specific natural materials, creating five-star accommodation for NZ's pollinators to thrive.

What conservation problem are you trying to solve?

Bee numbers worldwide are declining and New Zealand pollinators are now seen less and less around urban communities. Pollinators play an essential role in ecosystems. Approximately 80% of all flowering plant species are pollinated by animals, mostly insects, and they affect 35 percent of the world's crop production. A third of all our food depends on their pollination, a world without them would be devastating for food production.

How are you going to solve this conservation problem?

Build habitat to increase pollinatorsPlace habitat in strategic locations to create a network of connections between major pollinator nodes. These pollinator wall habitats will be used to help heal the pollinator problem by improving habitat connections. An array of installations throughout New Zealand’s urban areas will help create connections and hubs between existing pollinator habitats and restore the ecological balance.Educate and inspire both adults and children on the importance of pollinators within our society and how to encourage them in their own back yards.Develop a concept that can grow and flourish as more communities take on pollinator parks in their local area.Create local resilience within communities, helping them to feel empowered and productive. For more information on what we have already achieved check out www.pollinatorpaths.com

What makes your idea new and unique?

The proposal for a pollinator network is new for New Zealand. While specific installations exist, the proposal to grow into a connected network of pollinator paths is new and unique. The pollinator wall will be a modular element that can be installed across the network. We want to help make Auckland the most pollinator friendly city in the world and an iconic urban habitat that people see on a regular basis throughout the city will help to educate the public.

Who will use your idea, and how will they benefit?

This idea will be used by local communities, schools, local boards, councils & community groups. Everyone - from increased pollinator abundance as it will help expand  the ability of communities to grow their own food, creating resilience and empowerment within communities & reducing food miles.Schools - education, instilling in the next generation the importance of pollinators and community resilience.Local communities - development opportunities and establishing a sense of place.

What tasks or activities do you need investment for? How would you spend a $25,000 grant?

We need funding for implementing the next stages of the pollinator paths strategy which is to develop and build the iconic pollinator walls. We have already received requests for pollinator park elements to be installed in new pollinator parks. We have a fabricator ready to work with us to realise the vision.The 25k grant will be spent on refining the design and developing a flexible, modular prototype that can be adapted to site specific parameters. This design will be made available to local community groups to commission and install to extend the pollinator paths network across the city, and ultimately, the country.The grant will also be used to produce and install 1-2 new walls in the next pollinator parks.

Are you a New Zealand citizen or resident?


I have read and agree to the Crowdicity Terms of Use, the Conservation Innovation Awards 2016 Supplemental Terms and Conditions, and the Crowdicity Community Guidelines


List five other ideas posted in the challenge that excite you. Why?

  • Lizard Tales -Great to see some more attention on these crucial pollinators
  • Bio-diversity Statistics Platform –The data would be a great resource for the conservation community
  • Backyard Beehive –Great initiative to encourage pollination 
  • We Plant – An engaging way to follow what other communities are achieving + how we all link together
  • Wasp Wipeout –Combining community +media to help get rid of this pest

How could you improve your idea?

We have had some great feedback from the community and are developing our idea in the following ways:

  • Network mapping – We have been researching potential locations as Hakanoa park was just the first pollinator park within a strategic network plan. Our pollination migration is beginning  in Grey Lynn although we are currently investigating opportunities in Auckland CBD, Ponsonby, Milford, Glen Eden, and nationwide have begun investigations to spread to Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.
  • Educate – Each material will have an information panel integrated into the wall design explaining who inhabits the wall 
  • Community involvement – Some cells will contain materials which kids are encouraged to hunt for  and storage cells will have take home materials for residents to bring home to their gardens to increase pollination in the overall area
  • Bumble bee home – Enclosed see through home specifically design for bees
  • Planted cells – eg: Muehlenbeckia axillaris to attract copper butterflies  
edited on Oct 13, 2016 by Andrea Reid

Inge Bolt Oct 5, 2016

Is there a way of encouraging the bees only, what about invasion from wasps etc?


Andrea Reid Oct 8, 2016

Hi Inge, thank you for your feedback, it is difficult to deter wasps from any structure, the only known way to get rid of them according to DOC is by finding and destroying the nests or by leaving out poison for them. The good thing about our design is that because each wall will be looked after by the local residents and community groups, they will be involved in the care of it, so will be able to personally get rid of any nests or notify us of them if they arrive so that we can remove them. We will make sure that we work closely with communities to educate them on this and the differences between wasps and bees so that we don't get any mistakes!


Steven Woodcock Oct 7, 2016

Any shortlist on what parks might be considered?


Andrea Reid Oct 8, 2016

Hi Steven, we have had a lot of requests for new locations including Auckland CBD, Ponsonby, Milford, Glen Eden and even Hamilton! We will be working with different groups in these areas and other areas too, to figure out the best spots for the pollinators based on the surrounding ecology. Let us know if you would like to see one in your community too!


Felix Pertziger Oct 7, 2016

Structure looks nice! How are you going to select sites? This is a must have GIS component project


Andrea Reid Oct 12, 2016

Thanks Felix!

We are definitely going to be using a lot of GIS analysis! Our approach is to focus on four typical pollinator species using the landscape contour species-specific model combined with an overall pattern based landscape patch-matrix-corridor model. This conveys how landscape change has affected pollinators as a whole in urban areas and displays the most important areas to improve using design interventions.

The proposed network is created by analysing Auckland's pollinators, its vegetation patches and the most effective way to connect them. It takes in to consideration the positions of existing pollinator patches, how far each pollinator group can/will travel, urban blockages such as roads, motorways & rooftops, the percentage of vegetation coverage found and the pollinator quality of said vegetation.


Lauren Day Oct 9, 2016

I went to the opening of the first park last week, and it was amazing how many people got together to enjoy a previously empty space. I thoroughly enjoyed being there, would so love to see more park transformations!


Andrea Reid Oct 12, 2016

Thanks Lauren, it was great to have you and so many other passionate community members join us to create the first public Pollinator Park!


Ensiyeh Ghavampour Oct 10, 2016

I like the idea because it involves community and increase sense of place beside its environmental effect. Maybe find a way to engage student in making the frames too.
Also structure is shown in the photo does not sound really stable, however, I am sure you have some solution for it.


Andrea Reid Oct 12, 2016

Hi Ensiyeh,

Thanks for your feedback, the cells are made of corten steel, the hexagonal shape of the cells are riveted together at four points on each cell. Four threaded 12mm rods will be set at 1.5 metre centres and cast into a foundation 400mm deep. The cells are then tightened down onto one another, this in combination with the riveted mechanism will create a sturdy robust landscape structure.


Trent Bell Oct 12, 2016

This is a very nice idea, and I would love to see this happen in our urban areas, to bring us closer to nature.


Andrea Reid Oct 13, 2016

Thanks Trent!