Woodland has been a subsidiary of Bee City USA since January 2020, which means the city is committed to conserving the area’s native pollinators by striving to increase the amount of drought-tolerant plants, create sites nesting and reduce the use of pesticides.
The Woodland Bee and Pollinator Ecosystem Appreciation Day was held Thursday at the Town Hall Edible Learning Garden with City Council staff, local organizations and individuals contributing to the efforts. to meet the standards of being a city of bees.
“The reason we hosted this event today is that, throughout the pandemic, we have really stepped up our efforts to maintain our affiliation,” said Stephanie Burgos, Marketing and Commercial Relations Specialist for the city. of Woodland.
Burgos mentioned that these efforts can also be an educational opportunity for residents. She said the city wanted to put signs near the plants so people would know they are drought tolerant and that 75% of them are native plants.
“It’s a slight way of pushing people around and showing through this educational awareness that there are other options instead of just having a water intensive lawn,” Burgos explained. “It’s sort of setting an example. “
Burgos also thanked several local organizations and individuals who have contributed to Woodland’s efforts to maintain its affiliation as a beekeeping town.
“A huge side effect of being a subsidiary of Bee City USA is increased collaboration at the local level and the ability to work with some really talented people in Woodland,” she said.
Kent Smith, for example, is a local artist who created artwork for the city to raise awareness that Woodland is a city of bees.
“Anytime you can browse and contribute creative works of art that the general public could see and enjoy, it’s a win-win.”
One of the pieces he created for Woodland is the Sunflower on Main Street which draws attention to a sign that says Woodland is a bee town. Kent said he hopes his metal sunflower coin reminds people that Woodland is a bee town and that they realize what it means for the community.
Angel Montoy, owner of Montoy’s Landscaping in Woodland, said it has been an honor to help the city create more gardens and lawns for these plants, which will help attract more bees to Woodland.
“Bees are getting harder and harder to find,” Montoy explained. “Doing something to help bring these bees to town, I think that’s a good thing, not just for Woodland, but for all of humanity.”
Montoy said this is because pollinators are very important to farmers who need them to be able to grow their crops. The farmers would then suffer, and in turn, the whole community because of the loss of food.
Burgos said Montoy’s landscaping helped plant all the plants on the main street and with the front yard of the town hall. They are also responsible for building the edible learning garden in which the event took place.
“Every Saturday we see people enjoying their morning here,” Montoy said. “It’s a good feeling knowing that we have helped.”
Josh Zeldner, owner of local honey company Z Specialty Foods, said Woodland is a beekeeping town because it shows the town is committed to protecting pollinator habitats.
“The health of pollinators is directly related to our food supply,” Zeldner said. “We sell honey, so we also want to make sure the bees are healthy. Without pollinators, almonds do not produce nuts, and many different fruits and vegetables do not.
Emilia Zarate, director of sales at Z Specialty Foods, said she enjoys being part of a community that cares about its farmers and local businesses.
“I think it’s amazing that our city cares so much about bees and pollination because it’s so crucial in an agricultural environment,” Zarate said. “I am so proud that Woodland is stepping up and being a bee town.”