On June 24th, the newly installed pollinator garden at Panorama in Lacey provided the backdrop for the launch of the Olympia Beekeepers Association “Bee a Pollinator” campaign. The culmination of three years of work with county leaders and officials, the campaign is asking the public to take action to help bees and other pollinators. “Bee a Pollinator” is targeted to addressing two of the biggest issues affecting pollinator declines: pesticide use and loss of forage.
The Cities of Olympia and Tumwater, the Nisqually Land Trust, Thurston County and the Lott Clean Water Alliance have all signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the use of neonicotinoid pesticides on the properties under their control. Now nearly 13,000 acres of land in Thurston County is protected from these pesticides.
In addition to the leadership of the aforementioned juriscitions, Senator Karen Fraser, Thurston County Commissioner Sandra Romero, WSBA president Mark Emrich and other county agency and organizational representatives participated in the program and garden dedication.
Local artist, Nikki McClure created the logo design for this campaign and it has been incorporated into striking signs that exemplify the spirit and mission of the campaign.
Encouraging people to make informed choices about what they do and how it can affect pollinators is at the heart of this project. We’re highlighting the many simple ways that any individual can contribute to healthy pollinator populations, asking them to take action and then share what they’ve learned with someone
else. (that’s the pollination part!) Whether it’s planting herbs or flowers in your garden, buying local honey, making the choice for organic or reading a book about bees to your kids, the more people know and understand the issues facing pollinators the greater the investment to change the course for a healthy future.
Another important goal of this campaign is to continue to build bridges with other like-minded agencies, organizations, schools and businesses in the spirit of collaboration; we can only magnify the impact we can have working on these issues together.
If you’d like to bring this campaign to your local association, it’s designed to be shared. And, if you’d like an amazing sign to let people know you’re feeding bees, contact Laurie Pyne at LMPCarl@gmail.com. We’ll also be engaged this fall in planning towards the next phase push for Spring, 2016. If you’re interested in participating, we’d love to hear from you.
Check frequently for updates at www.olympiabeekeepers.org and join in the conversation on the “Bee a Pollinator” Facebook page.