The City of Orillia officially has been designated as a “Bee City” for protecting pollinators and raising awareness about healthy and sustainable habitats.
The designation was issued last week by Bee City Canada, an organization that recognizes communities and organizations taking steps or committed toward initiatives to support pollinators.
“Becoming a Bee City highlights the bee-friendly initiatives the City of Orillia has in place,” Orillia Mayor Steve Clarke said in a statement.
According to a city news release, supporting pollinators in Orillia-owned parks and maintained areas has been a focus for city park crews.
The city has more than 70 annual and perennial gardens and two community gardens with pollinator species in them. Two butterfly gardens have also been planted, and the city has over 140 hanging flower baskets in the downtown area.
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In Orillia, new projects will promote the creation of new gardens in parks, recreation centres, parking lots, and other public spaces with the intent to improve pollinator habitats, the release says.
“The Orillia Bee City volunteers, a non-profit group, are very excited to have this designation,” Jeannine Hutty, the community stewart of Orillia Bee City, said in a statement. “This designation will provide us with access to educational material and other great resources in order to encourage residents to adopt pollinator-friendly habits.”
Toronto became the first Bee City in Canada in March 2016, and there are currently 28 Canadian municipalities with the Bee City designation.