Bee City USA

Pollinator Conservation Efforts

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Middletown, MD; October 5, 2020---Middletown’s Burgess and Commissioners unanimously voted on June 27, 2020 to become a Bee City USA®, joining many other cities and campuses across the country united in improving their landscapes for pollinators. The Burgess and Commissioners’ action is the culmination of months of effort by the Middletown Sustainability Committee to accomplish this certification.

Bee City USA is an initiative of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, a nonprofit organization based in Portland, Oregon, with offices across the country. Bee City USA’s mission is to galvanize communities to sustain pollinators by providing them with healthy habitat, rich in a variety of native plants and free of insecticides. Pollinators like bumble bees, sweat bees, mason bees, honey bees, butterflies, moths, beetles, flies, hummingbirds, and many others are responsible for the reproduction of almost ninety percent of the world's flowering plant species and one in every three bites of food we consume.

Burgess John Miller said, “Our Town Board 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 the Sustainability Committee for bringing the opportunity to our attention.”

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“We are thrilled that the Town Board shared our vision for Middletown to join the Bee City USA movement,” said Mark Carney, who played a leading role in the campaign.

“The program aspires to make people more PC - pollinator conscious, that is,” said Scott Hoffman Black, Xerces’ executive director. “If lots of individuals and communities begin planting native, pesticide-free flowering trees, shrubs and perennials, it will create large-scale change for many, many species of pollinators.”


“How each city completes the steps to conserve pollinators is up to them,” said Bee City USA Coordinator Molly Martin. “To maintain their certification, each affiliate is expected to report on their achievements and celebrate being a Bee City USA affiliate every year.”

Each affiliate should hold public awareness activities; publicly acknowledge the commitment to the program through a standing committee, signage and web links; and prepare an annual report on habitat enhancement activities.

 

Bee City USA especially encourages school gardens and educational programs for children.

 

The Town has designated the Sustainability Committee, the facilitating committee for Town’s efforts to engage the community in promoting pollinator conservation. The Sustainability Committee meets monthly on the third Tuesday of the month at the Town’s office (currently meeting virtually; see Town’s calendar for login information (www.middletown.md.us)) and invites all residents of Town 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 Middletown’s Bee City USA program, contact Drew Bowen - dbowen@ci.middletown.md.us and Cindy Unagst – cunagst@ci.middletown.md.us at

301371-6171. 

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