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Mayor declares May 16-22 National Pollinator Week, council votes to become Bee City USA

COURTESY PHOTO: UNSPLASH/REGINE THOLEN - There are 11 Bee Cities in Oregon, including two in Clackamas County: West Linn and Wilsonville. Sandy will be No. 12.Pollinators received some buzz in the May 17 virtual meeting of the Sandy City Council. Mayor Stan Pulliam proclaimed the week of May 16-22 as National Pollinator Week to be observed by Sandy residents, and the cuncil also voted to apply to become a Bee City USA affiliate.

"Pollinator species such as bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and moths provide multiple benefits to our quality of life," city associate planner Shelley Denison wrote in her staff report advocating for the city's affiliation with Bee City USA. "They promote healthy food systems, good environmental quality and increased economic growth. According to the Xerces Society, one out of every three bites of food we eat is a result of pollinators.

"However, pollinator populations have been steadily declining for a number of concerning reasons. These reasons include overuse of pesticides and herbicides, habitat loss, and diseases," she said. "Sandy has the opportunity to be part of the solution to pollinator loss by becoming a Bee City USA affiliate."

According to Denison's report: "The responsibilities of a Bee City include creating awareness about the importance of pollinators through public outreach, using integrated pest management best practices, and enhancing pollinator-friendly habitat on public and private land. As a Bee City USA affiliate, Sandy will have access to expert support and resources related to these projects. Additionally, this is an opportunity to help achieve City Council's current biennium goal to support biodiversity in the city."

There already are 11 Bee Cities in Oregon, including two in Clackamas County: West Linn and Wilsonville. For Sandy to become No. 12, the city will need to complete the following steps:

• form a committee focused on creating a safe and healthy place for pollinators

• enhance pollinator habitats

• adopt an integrated pest management plan

• form related policies

• conduct public outreach

• pass a council resolution declaring Sandy a Bee City, which took place May 17

• pay an annual fee of $200

The fee pays for cities to have access to support and resources about conservation, Denison said.

Councilor Carl Exner was a supporter of the efforts to make Sandy a Bee City USA and create National Pollinator Week and a supporter of how these acts help the council work toward its goal of supporting biodiversity within the city.

"I'm really happy to see this; this is part of the biodiversity (goal) we set down as a council goal, and I think this is a good start," Exner said. "It's not the only thing we should be doing, but certainly is a great addition to the city's philosophy and reputation. Several of the schoolchildren in the Oregon Trail School District are excited about this and have planned to put together proposals that might be of interest to us in the future, so I'm looking forward to working with the school teachers and the students in finding ways to make this an even better city than it is already."

The full National Pollinator Week proclamation can be found online.

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