Bee City, USA

 Elm Grove Becomes the 105th Bee City USA in the Nation

The Elm Grove Board of Trustees unanimously voted on March 23rd, to become a Bee City USA®, joining more than a hundred other cities and campuses across the country united in improving their landscapes for pollinators. This action is the culmination of months of effort by the Beautification Committee and the Elm Grove Green Team 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.

“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 or county celebrates pollinators is up to them,” said Bee City USA founder Phyllis Stiles(from the Milwaukee area). “But to maintain their certification, each affiliate is expected to celebrate being a Bee City USA community 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. “When a child falls in love with pollinators, they are friends for life,” added Stiles.

The Village has designated the Beautification Committee the facilitating committee for village’s efforts to engage the community in promoting pollinator conservation. The committee meets The first Monday of the month in the Park View Room at the Elm Grove village hall and invites all residents of Elm Grove 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 Elm Grove’s Bee City USA program, contact Nicci Sternitzky at asternitzky@wi.rr.com or Deb Baesmann at debbaes@hotmail.com.

For more information about Bee City USA, the Xerces Society or ways to help pollinators, please visit Quick Links.