BEE CITY USA
Bees are central to our lives.
Thousands of native species sustain our environment and food supply. Bee City USA brings people together to make their communities better places for bees. The Bee City USA program endorses a set of commitments, defined in a resolution, for creating sustainable habitats for native pollinators, which are vital to feeding the planet.
On July 9, 2019, Lynchburg City Council voted to adopt a resolution proclaiming Lynchburg as a BEE CITY USA. Click here to read the signed resolution.
For more information about Bee City USA, visit their website.
Lynchburg Becoming A Haven for Pollinators
Pollinators are getting a welcome boost in Lynchburg. The City recently became a Bee City USA, a designation awarded by the Xerces Society, and is the second city in Virginia to attain the status. There are 114 Bee Cities in the USA, so far. Randolph College, also in Lynchburg, is a Bee Campus. The Bee City USA/Bee Campus mission is to encourage cities, towns, counties and college campuses to adopt practices that promote biodiversity and help pollinators.
Hillside Garden Club and the Lynchburg Garden Club worked with the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation to secure the designation. As a Bee City, Lynchburg has pledged to use native plants in city plantings, to reduce mowing and chemical use, and to educate the public about the importance of pollinators. They will be adding food and habitat for native species instead of spending the same money to add non-native plants that have no value for pollinators. The city is also working with regional VDOT officials to promote native wildflowers on area highways.
Garden club members serve on Lynchburg’s Bee City Working Committee and have made a big impact in just a year since the designation. The city has planted several acres of pollinator beds on local highways, reduced mowing, promoted natural habitats, and brought the Disney movie, Wings of Life, to town for 600 6th graders and the general public. Hillside Garden Club and Lynchburg Garden Club are launching a garden certification program that will educate on how to plant a successful pollinator garden. Lynchburg city staff say they would recommend that other cities become Bee Cities, as it has been a positive experience and they appreciate the support from the volunteer community.
For a list of native plants of Central Virginia, click here.