The City of Chestermere is buzzing with excitement after becoming western Canada’s first Bee City. Only the second City designated in Canada, Chestermere is helping in the fight to save the declining population of bees in Canada. Chestermere hopes to inspire other communities to become Bee Cities and beautify spaces everywhere!
"It's always inspiring when members of our community share their passion with the rest of us. Truly the Bee City application was a result of those passionate community members bringing forward a great idea that we could all participate in to make Chestermere even better!” said Mayor Patricia Matthews.
Bees and other pollinators are struggling across Canada and around the world. It is estimated that 85% of flowering plants (including fruits and vegetables) depend on pollinators so a decline in their numbers could devastate food production.
The importance of saving the bees and other pollinators has been top of mind for Dr. Preston Pouteaux, a local beekeeper and advocate. In an effort to raise further awareness about this critical issue, Pouteaux approached Chestermere officials about becoming an official Bee City.
“Creating amazing neighbourhoods like those we have in Chestermere requires that we care for the work of important pollinators. It seems like a small thing, but the very best cities in the world pay attention to the health of their ecosystems and gardens. We are the kind of vibrant community that sees the value in our bees, our people, and every blossoming corner of our City,” said Preston Pouteaux, founder of the Chestermere Honey Bee Society.
Working with Pouteaux, City staff set up a Bee City committee comprised of local community members and City staff. With the approval of City Council, they brought an application to Bee City Canada and were officially designated as a Bee City on July 27, 2016.
The designation highlights Chestermere’s current efforts to promote healthy ecosystems such as the Community Garden, Chestermere in Bloom, the Birth Forest, as well as more than 70 parks and green spaces around the community.
Going forward, the Bee City committee will implement pollinator friendly community initiatives and awareness opportunities. Residents are encouraged to watch for programming, events and activities to learn more about how they can support pollinator populations.
For more information on Chestermere becoming a Bee City visit www.chestermere.ca/beecity.For more information on Bee City Canada please visit www.beecitycanada.org.