Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh, Annapolis Mayor Michael Pantelides, and Highland Park Mayor William H. Sanders III have worked with their respective members of Council and Boards to have the region designated as a Bee City USA®.
Bee City USA is a nonprofit national organization that fosters ongoing dialogue in urban areas to raise awareness of the role pollinators play in sustaining three-quarters of the world’s plant species and what each of us can do to provide them with healthy habitat. All groups involved in this partnership understand the importance of sustaining pollinators, and want the region to become more pollinator-friendly.
“This partnership allows us to focus on efforts to protect our pollinators and educate our citizens on their importance on our environment,” said County Executive Schuh. “The passage of the 2016 Maryland Pollinator Protection Act makes our state the first to ban consumers from purchasing pesticides that contain neonicotinoids. Given how our residents and agricultural businesses prioritize environmentally friendly practices, it makes perfect sense for Anne Arundel County to partner on this effort.”
“I understand the significance of this partnership because honey bees are dying off at an alarming rate,” Mayor Pantelides said. “Reports indicate that without these insects, one third of our global food supply could be eliminated.”
“The town of Highland Beach is proud to stand with our fellow government leaders in acknowledging the critical importance of our native pollinators in producing much of our food supply,” said Mayor Sanders. “The more we help spread the word on the importance of this natural resource, the more our citizens will recognize the significant environmental benefits that these thousands of species bring to us, and help protect our pollinators.”
This collaborative group plans on providing workshops to:
- Designate a Pollinator Citizens Advisory Group to facilitate the Bee City USA Program
- Encourage and coordinate local pollinator habitat and awareness activities
- Provide local educational programs and inform residents on planting native, pesticide-free flowering trees, shrubs and perennials
- Celebrate National Pollinator Week annually and publicly acknowledge the communities commitment to the Bee City USA Program with signage
Ongoing efforts to identify new pollinator-friendly initiatives will involve community outreach to get public input and will be announced in the upcoming months.
For more information about the Bee City USA organization visit www.beecityusa.org