With the spring planting season in full swing, the City of Oshawa is celebrating its new designation as a Bee City.
Bee City Canada has recognized Oshawa for its commitment to develop, restore and preserve pollinator-friendly habitats.
Oshawa has five formal pollinator gardens and four community gardens with pollinator species planted throughout them. The city also has 190 formal annual and perennial gardens that beautify Oshawa as well as downtown flowering hanging baskets. Many of these flowering plants provide pollen to various species of insects.
In addition, Oshawa was one of the first municipalities in Canada to incorporate a pest management program for city land prior to the Pesticide Act. The city has amended its Boulevard By-Law to encourage pollinator planting on city boulevards, and city crews are incorporating no mow or low mow species as much as possible to increase naturalization of new and existing parks.
The city submitted its successful application to Bee City after receiving a request from the Ontario Nature Youth Council in May 2018. Bees and other pollinators around the globe have experienced dramatic declines due to land fragmentation, habitat loss, use of pesticides, industrialized agriculture and climate change.
“There is growing public concern around the ecologically vital work that pollinators do, which have been under threat. Being a Bee City means that our City crews are working hard to carefully design and engineer our gardens to help address this problem,” said Councillor Derek Giberson, Vice-Chair of the Community Services Committee.
By becoming a Bee City, Oshawa helps highlight initiatives already in place, while also bringing greater awareness to the contributions pollinators make. For more information on Bee City and gardens in Oshawa, visit www.oshawa.ca/things-to-do/gardens.asp.