On November 19th, an official groundbreaking ceremony took place to unveil the future home of the Biodiversity Garden, a collaborative project in partnership with the City of Sault Ste. Marie, the Sault Ste. Marie Public Library, and the Invasive Species Centre, with support from the province of Ontario.
The project partners are creating a space that can show residents and visitors how to prevent
invasive species and just how beautiful a garden with native plants can be.
“The Biodiversity Garden will grow a diverse array of native plants, attract and support pollinators, as well as actively absorb and hold groundwater, keeping it out of storm drains. The garden will also showcase how residents can prevent invasive species,” said Sarah Rang, Executive Director of
the Invasive Species Centre.
On hand for the ribbon cutting and tree planting were MPP Ross Romano, City of Sault Ste.
Marie Councillor Matthew Shoemaker, Sault Ste. Marie Public Library Board Chair Wayne
Greco, Library CEO Matthew MacDonald, and Invasive Species Centre Executive Director Sarah
“The Invasive Species Centre is truly a one-of-a-kind institution whose work is invaluable to
preserving, protecting, and maintaining our beautiful natural habitat,” remarked MPP Ross
Romano, “This project furthers their mission by connecting visitors with the education and
knowledge to support their vision by helping us all to understand how we can each take an
active role in supporting native species. I thank them for their tireless efforts.”
Councillor Matthew Shoemaker added, “The Biodiversity Garden is a great project in the
community, and I’m confident it will have a positive impact on fighting invasive species in our
Mayor Christian Provenzano provided input on the project, stating that “The Biodiversity Garden is a great project, and the City is pleased to participate in it. The garden will serve as a tremendous example of how residents can grow biodiversity support in their own yards, and I encourage community members to learn more about it.”
Matthew MacDonald, Sault Ste. Marie Public Library CEO closed the ceremony by stating that,
“Libraries embody learning and growth, and there really is no better way to symbolize that than
with a garden, designed to inform and educate the public.”
The project team will be working to finalize the garden layout and plant selection, ensuring that accessibility requirements are met, and with consideration to electrical, sewage or storm
drainage locates. The project is being completed in a phased approach with seeds growing over
the winter in the City greenhouse. Initial site preparation has begun, with additional planting to
take place in spring 2022.
Future project considerations include a reading gazebo, tree benches and additional garden zones.