Stratford becomes Ontario’s second Bee City
News release from Ontario Nature
Thanks to the efforts of grade 10 student Ethan Elliott, Stratford is Ontario’s newest Bee City. The designation means a greater commitment to protecting pollinators and starting a public dialogue about their importance.
“What Ethan has accomplished in Stratford is an inspiring example of the positive impact one person – no matter his or her age – can have in their community. We are thrilled to support Ethan’s efforts as an active and engaged young environmentalist.” says Sarah Hedges, Ontario Nature’s conservation and education coordinator.
Elliott has always been passionate about nature and was concerned about protecting bees. As a member of Ontario Nature’s Youth Council, he saw great educational potential in Stratford becoming a Bee City. Protecting pollinators is just one of the youth-led initiatives. The council’s mission is to build a diverse provincial network of youth dedicated to inspiring, connecting and educating our communities while protecting wild species and wild spaces.
“Ethan was able to bring together farmers, artists and politicians around a table to share common concerns about what’s happening to our pollinators. By creating a Bee City, they can slowly change green grass into pollinator habitat and make Stratford an even more beautiful city,” says Shelly Candel, director of Bee City Canada.The announcement comes just over a year after Toronto became Canada’s first Bee City in March 2016. Ninety percent of the world’s wild plants depend on pollinators to reproduce and one in three bites of food we eat is thanks to pollinators. Bee City Canada’s vision is to protect, promote and celebrate pollinators for a healthier ecosystem.
“Living in an agricultural community, there is an incredible opportunity to bring attention to the importance of biodiversity in farming,” says Elliott. “Bee City allowed me to make meaningful change and feel as if my opinions mattered. I am forever grateful to Bee City Canada for creating this incredible program.”