Bee City Usa

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            The City of Greenwood has voted unanimously to become a Bee City USA®. This completed the efforts of the Greenwood in Bloom Pollinator Partners to accomplish this certification. Charlie Barrineau, City Manager, made the presentation to Council members. The City has designated Greenwood in Bloom Pollinating Partners the facilitating committee for City’s efforts to engage the community in promoting pollinator-friendliness.

            Bee City USA is a nonprofit national organization that galvanizes communities to sustain pollinators by providing them with healthy habitat, rich in a variety of native plants and free to nearly free of pesticides. Imperiled pollinators like honey bees, bumble bees, butterflies, moths, bats, hummingbirds, and others are responsible for the reproduction of ninety percent of the world's wild plant species and one in every three bites of food we consume. 

            Mayor Welborn said, “Our City Council let it be known that we understand the importance of sustaining pollinators, and want to make the city more pollinator-friendly. We are grateful to Greenwood in Bloom for bringing the opportunity to our attention.”

            According to City Horticulturist, Ann Barklow, during the process of applying for the certification, a number of organizations were brought into the discussions including the Lakeland Beekeepers and the Lakelands Master Gardeners along with the Director of Public Works and the City Manager.

Bee City USA founder and director, Phyllis Stiles, said, “The program aspires to make people more PC (“pollinator conscious,” that is). If lots of individuals and communities begin planting native, pesticide-free flowering trees, shrubs and perennials, it will create large-scale change for thousands of species of pollinators at risk. How each city or county celebrates pollinators is up to them, but we especially encourage educational programs for children, like school gardens. When a child falls in love with pollinators, they are friends for life.”

            Ann Barklow said, “The City of Greenwood is an ideal candidate for certification because they already emphasize the use of natives and pollinator friendly plants throughout Uptown and have a strong volunteer base with the Lakeland Beekeepers and the Lakelands Master Gardeners”

            A designated Bee City USA is expected to annually celebrate being a Bee City USA community with a proclamation and public awareness activities; publicly acknowledge commitment to the program through signage and web links; and annually report activities to Bee City USA to renew the certification.

            The Pollinator Partners committee meets quarterly and invites all residents of the City to offer their ideas for pollinator-friendly initiatives. The more people and organizations involved, the sooner pollinator declines will be reversed.

            For more information about the Bee City USA organization visit www.beecityusa.org or email Director Phyllis Stiles at beecityusa@gmail.com.  For more information about the City Bee City USA program, contact Ann Barklow at ann.barklow@gwdcity.com