Kawartha Lakes is the 7th Bee City in Canada (July 2017)

Bee CanadaKAWARTHA LAKES— In keeping with Council’s commitment to protect our environment, Kawartha Lakes has just been designated as the 7th Bee City in Canada. We are the third in Ontario, joining Toronto and Stratford.

Along with the designation comes the responsibility to encourage residents to support bees and other pollinators on both public and private land and foster environmental awareness around this issue. Heading up the initiative will be City of Kawartha Lakes Environmental Advisory Committee (CKLEAC) consisting of community leaders, city staff and local experts to coordinate efforts.  We will celebrate our efforts annually during National Pollinator Week during the third week of June.

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A current initiative underway is the Fenelon Landfill Pollinator project. This pilot project, approved by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change has been led by CKLEAC and involves Kawartha Lakes Waste Management and Fleming College. A pollinator-friendly seed mix will be planted on about 1.5 acres of a decommissioned cell in the Fenelon Landfill site. Weather permitting, the work should be completed by the end of summer. Fleming students helped design a protocol to monitor the effectiveness of the planting to attract bees and butterflies and will also participate in the monitoring. If successful this project will pave the way towards rehabilitating the landfill into a new pollinator habitat.

“We are thrilled to be named the next Bee City in Canada. We hope this will help raise awareness and education in our community about how we can each play a role in strengthening the bee population and supporting all pollinators. The next step is to gather together those who are interested in becoming involved,” commented Susan Blayney, a member of CKLEAC.

The conservation of pollinators is critical to the sustainability of Kawartha Lakes’ natural areas, urban gardens and small scale farms. Certain pollinator species have been determined to be in decline due to habitat loss, climate change, pesticide use and disease or parasites.  A diverse and resilient pollinator community is a key component of a sustainable city.

Anyone interested in learning more about Bee City initiatives is encouraged to contact CLKEAC through Richard Holy, Manager of Planning, at 705-324-9411 extension 1246.