CORNWALL, Ontario – A new butterfly and herb garden has blossomed outside of the OPG’s Saunders Hydro Dam Visitor Centre, designed with a number of rare plants that hold significance in Mohawk culture.
“The garden, which features native wildflowers like purple coneflower and milkweed, will help improve biodiversity in the area by attracting pollinating insects and birds,” read an OPG press release. “The garden will also educate visitors on the uses and history of the traditional herbs planted in the garden.”
Many of the species featured in the garden traditionally thrived in the St. Lawrence River region but have been reduced over time. The reintroduction of the plants will strive to benefit local habitat and educate the public on their various benefits.
Unveiled on Thursday, Aug. 22 among OPG and MCA community partners, the project marks the beginning phase in a long-term, sustainable landscape plan for the centre. It also signifies a new joint venture between Iroquois Consulting Group, an Akwesasne-owned business, and M. Sullivan & Son Limited. The project came with a price tag of approx. $175,000.
“This is another successful collaboration with our Akwesasne and Cornwall community partners,” said Mike Martelli, President of OPG’s Renewable Generation, noting that the project has provided employment opportunities for Akwesasne businesses and community partners. “This unique and educational garden will serve the Cornwall community well for many years to come.”
As part of the project, other areas around the centre will be developed to integrate new signage on the traditional uses of the herbs, spices and healing plants, as well as new trails.