Enhancing Pollinator Health & Habitat
Bee City USA – Phoenix held their Pollinator Appreciation Day event on Saturday, June 10, 2017. Andony Melathopoulos, PhD, Oregon State University Pollinator Health Extension, presented “How to do a pollinator count” to the community and a pollinator count was conducted at the Wetlands Park in Phoenix. The results of the pollinator count were shared at the end of the event. Pollinator education material was also handed out at the event, pollinator friendly seeds were given away and children’s crafts were available along with a hot dog cookout that was prepared by the local fire district fire fighters.
Additionally, irrigation was installed in the Bee City USA – Phoenix pollinator garden located at Blue Heron Park in Phoenix with water for irrigation provided by the City of Phoenix.
Bee City USA – Phoenix members designed and produced a sign that is provided to residents who follow the pollinator friendly guidelines the committee has specified with 6 more home gardens in Phoenix be certified as Pollinator Friendly gardens.
Members of Bee City USA – Phoenix worked with students at Phoenix Elementary to repair and replant raised pollinator gardens on the school property.
Policies & Practices
Bee City USA – Phoenix continues to function as a sub-committee of the Phoenix Parks and Greenway Commission and currently has 7 committee members meeting at least monthly.
Sharon Schmidt – Chair
Dr. B. DeMontay
Bee City USA – Phoenix Chair reports to the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Commission and the Phoenix City Council on Bee City USA – Phoenix activities at their scheduled meetings.
Education & Outreach
Bee City USA – Phoenix tabled at the following events handing out pollinator educational materials:
Phoenix Dog Days of Summer activity
Phoenix Easter Egg Hunt
SOLVE Earth Day Bear Creek Clean-up event
Kids and Creeks event
In January Bee City USA – Phoenix members met with the teacher of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) classes at Phoenix Elementary School to discuss creating a pollinator garden. Our BCU-P Chair gave a power point presentation to the students about bees, their homes, their purpose, and the importance of creating pollinator gardens. We then helped students plant seeds of various pollinator plants in small containers to prepare for the garden. Later, we obtained soil and filled raised beds to prepare for the planting. We also pulled out weeds and cleaned the areas that would attract pollinators. Small booklets were copied for the first and second grade students which discussed gardens and the importance of soil, water and light. Later, the students planted seeds and some vegetable starts in the garden. As the school year came to a close we met with small groups of students for an outdoor observation experience – using loupes to see the flowers up close and to draw them.
Bee City USA – Phoenix, with the support of the City of Phoenix, Phoenix Arts Commission and the Oregon Department of Transportation, designed and are in the process of installing a 300 ft mural that depicts the life cycle of pollinators on the Exit 24 interchange structure in Phoenix.
Artist and BCU-P member, Judy Grillo, the project coordinator, reached out to the community to help with the painting. People from all over the world including Japan, India, Slovakia, Guatemala, China, Canada, Mexico, Russia and many U.S. states, also helped with the painting. All in all a total of 160 people have painted so far with the oldest painter being 101 and the youngest being almost 2.
All the paint used was donated by Phoenix residents and local businesses. Home Depot has supplied a clear-coat preservative finish to go on top of the mural once completed.
About 15 feet at its tallest, the mural tapers down to 4 feet on its western end. An area beyond a fence on the eastern end still needs to be painted, as does much of the western area. Painting on the mural will resume in the spring.
http://www.mailtribune.com/news/20180202/artists-from-around-globe-help-paint-exit-24-mural – Article in Medford Mail Tribune.
Local Website & Contact Information
The City of Phoenix continues to maintain the Bee City USA – Phoenix web page on the cities website at www.phoenixoregon.gov
Bee City USA – Phoenix also has a Facebook page that can be found at https://www.facebook.com/PhoenixOregonBeeCityUSA. The Facebook page is maintained by Sharon Schmidt, Bee City USA – Phoenix Chair.