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Group hopes to start Collingwood buzz with Bee City designation

In Agriculture
Sep 9th, 2020
Making Collingwood a Bee City

Shannon McCready, Jessica Lehr, Jeff Young, and Carrington Lauzon are the organizers behind Pollinate Collingwood.

Pollinate Collingwood group hoping to apply to have Collingwood designated as a Bee City in 2021

By: Jessica Owen Collingwood Today

Since February, Pollinate Collingwood has planted many community gardens around town to help with their quest to save local pollinators.

Representatives from the local non-profit came before the corporate and community services standing committee on Tuesday night to ask for town support in applying for Collingwood to get its Bee City Canada Certification.

Jessica Lehr, Jeff Young and Shannon McCready gave a presentation during the meeting on their group and their request.

Pollinate Collingwood started up in February. Since that time, they have planted 15 pollinator gardens across Collingwood through the David Suzuki Foundation’s Butterflyway Project.

The volunteer-led group has now been approved for a pilot project where they will bring the program to local schools with plants donated by the foundation. Nine local schools have signed on so far to participate, with the plants set to arrive this week.

“We have created and distributed educational outreach materials,” said Lehr. “It’s about putting in native plants where you can to aid with pollination.”

Within the County of Simcoe, Barrie, Orillia, Severn Township and New Tecumseth are Bee Cities.

Municipalities who participate pay a $200 fee per year (new Bee Cities are exempted for the first year) and in exchange receive access to educational webinars and promotional opportunities.

“The non-profit is science-based, which is very important,” said Lehr.

The group also asked for council to support the creation of a working committee with town representatives and community partners to compile the application for 2021. The group would also be tasked with preparing for a National Pollinator Week event in June 2021.

“To have this honour to bring it to schools, which will then bring it to residents, it’s exceeded all of our expectations,” said Lehr.

As there is a financial component, the committee voted to recommend referring the request to staff to prepare a report for the next corporate and community services standing committee meeting.

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