In honor of National Pollinator Week, celebrated June 21 through June 27, Tualatin has pulled out all the stops.
To celebrate, the city is hosting an event called "BEE Kind Tualatin," which encourages residents to go out and check local parks and trails for commissioned hand-sculpted pollinator orbs, which are colorful round glass balls with tiny divots that provide water for bees and other pollinators to drink.
"We had 150 we placed around the parks, much like we did with the glass hearts," said Julie Ludemann, recreation manager with the Tualatin Parks and Recreation Department.
Once again, Charlene Fort, a noted glassblower from Hood River, produced the glass creations. She's the same person who produced the "Share the Love" campaign in February, where 150 colorful glass-sculpted hearts were distributed in city parks as well.
"They really are cute little orbs," said Fort, saying while she calls them "bee pubs," she likes the whole "BEE Kind" concept Tualatin devised. "As the insects or bees land on these orbs, they can have a delightful drink of fresh water."
BEE Kind Tualatin also recognizes that Tualatin was named a Bee City USA affiliate in 2019. That meant joining more than 100 communities throughout the nation at the time to support pollinator causes, according to city officials.
The city established a pollinator garden in Tualatin Community Park in 2017. As of two years ago, city employees and volunteers had planted more than 20,000 native trees, shrubs and flowering plants that are friendly to pollinators.
The BEE Kind Tualatin event also hopes to accomplish what Share the Love did as well, to get people outside enjoying the outdoors and exploring their parks, said Ludemann.
"There are so many health benefits to just being outside and getting some exercise and being out in the park," she said. "We got college people who said they went and explored parks that they'd never been to, even though they lived in Tualatin for 20 years. It was great (to) just get people out and explore their parks."
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