Many in our city are buzzing with excitement over Tualatin becoming a certified Bee City. What is a Bee City USA Affiliate? At first glance, our new status as a Bee City USA Affiliate seems like a straightforward question. But the answer isn’t simple or one-dimensional. It reveals a highly organized effort to foster a multi-faceted solution to a variety of dire problems impacting bees and other pollinators in the US.
Differences emerge when we think about bees. One may imagine sweet honey or my childhood favorite, baklava. Others might think of fragrant lavender or other flowers. For others, it’s getting stung! We celebrate them with jewelry and clothing. Beeswax candles purify the air.
Most importantly, they are pollinators. According to the Xerces Society, “one in three bites of food we eat is courtesy of insect pollination, and 90% of the world’s flowering plants depend on pollinators to reproduce.” The gifts we get from bees are invaluable and fundamental to our survival!
Fortunately, experts are working toward solutions. Xerces developed the Bee City USA program to reverse the threat to pollinators. By becoming a Certified Bee City, we are committed to creating sustainable habitats for pollinators. “Becoming a Certified Bee City is a key step in our path to becoming a more sustainable city,” said Ross Hoover, Tualatin’s Parks Director, who manages the Tualatin City side of the affiliation.
I am grateful to our Tualatin City Staff as well as the City Council, who passed the initiative unanimously. In our 2030 Council Vision, we assert that we are an “Environmentally active and responsible community that values and protects our natural resources.” By becoming a pollinator-friendly community, we will create healthier ecosystems and improved crop yields. This is an outline that residents and businesses alike can utilize as a model to contribute to our success and commitment to the health and wellbeing of everyone.