Enhancing Pollinator Health & Habitat
“We can all avoid pesticides. We can all put nectar-rich native plants into the landscape. We can all advocate for green space. We can all teach kids about bees. It’s not that we all need to become beekeepers. No, we all need to become bee protectors, bee champions.”
–Alison Gillespie, author of Hives in the City. Keeping Honey Bees Alive in an Urban World
In the fall of 2014, the Carrboro Board of Aldermen adopted a resolution to apply to Bee City USA, and Carrboro became the 3rd Bee City USA community in the nation. The Environmental Advisory Board (EAB) took on the role of serving as a citizen’s advisory group, a requirement for participation in Bee City USA. In 2015 and 2016, a number of activities were pursued to kick off the Town’s participation, as described in the 2015 and 2016 reports. The rest of this report focuses on 2017 activities.
The EAB (Environmental Advisory Board) continued to help maintain the pollinator garden at the corner of West Main Street and Hillsborough Road.
See more about Enhancing Pollinator Habitat below.
Policies & Practices
The “Bee City” page was updated on the Town’s website to help promote pollinator protection and habitat restoration. Mayor Lydia Lavelle provided a proclamation to coincide with National Pollinator Week.
The Public Works Department continued to promote and pursue healthy pollinator habitats in its own operations. Public Works staff pursued installation of water wise, native, pollinator producing perennials as primary vegetation throughout Town properties, and also participated in the first training program offered to Bee City USA affiliates in April.
Randy Dodd, the Town’s Environmental Planner, participated in several conference calls with the growing number of Bee City representatives across the country to share successes and challenges.
The Town moved forward with updates to the Land Use Ordinance provisions related to landscaping, adding a table of recommended plants that includes and notes pollinator tree and shrub species to put these species more clearly on the radar for new plantings as part of development projects.
Education & Outreach
The Carrboro ArtsCenter sponsored a pollinator themed exhibit, “Saving Our Pollinators”, featuring: “Beehold the Humble Pollinator” from the North Carolina Botanical Garden along with art of Matthew Leavitt, Miriam Sagasti, and Torey Wahlstrom and other curated art from the community.
For the third straight year, a decision was made to host a Father’s Day movie at the Carrboro Century Center, with “Hometown Habitat-Stories of Bringing Nature Home” being chosen.