Recently, a high school student reached out to me to ask that Richmond Hill become a part of the Bee City movement. Bee City is an international program that works to protect bees and pollinators in communities across North America. As an environmentally responsible municipality, Richmond Hill is already doing many of the things that being a Bee City signatory would require and being a part of this movement is the appropriate action to take. Given that Richmond Hill is also one of the original Canadian municipalities to sign on to the national Wildlife Mayor’s Monarch Pledge, and before that, the Blue Dot Pledge, it was clear that the environmental leadership that we would be able to demonstrate would be significant.
I am proud that my member motion was passed unanimously by Council and I look forward to the result of creating more habitat for these important pollinating insects. To learn more about Bee City visit http://www.beecitycanada.org/
Member Motion – Councillor West
WHEREAS Richmond Hill has shown, and continues to show, commitment and leadership regarding the natural environment, as outlined in our approved Environment Strategy, Greening the Hill: Our Community, Our Future;
WHEREAS Richmond Hill is committed to supporting pollinator species, as demonstrated through signing the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge in 2016, annually proclaiming Pollinator Week, and pursuing actions related to habitat protection, native plants, and public communications;
WHEREAS the goal of Bee City Canada designation is to promote healthy, sustainable habitats and communities for pollinators;
THAT bees and other pollinators around the globe have experienced dramatic declines due to land fragmentation, habitat loss, use of pesticides, industrialized agriculture, climate change and the spread of pests and diseases, with serious implications for agricultural production and ecosystem health; and
THAT Richmond Hill and its residents have the opportunity to support bees and other pollinators on both public and private land; and
THAT supporting pollinators fosters environmental awareness and sustainability, and increases interactions and engagement among community stewards; and
THAT by becoming a Bee City, Richmond Hill can highlight initiatives already in place to support pollinators and further engage local communities in the spirit of environmental stewardship;
THAT staff be authorized to submit the Bee City Canada Application to designate Richmond Hill as a Bee City; and
Now, therefore, be it resolved:
THAT Richmond Hill accepts the Bee City designation and commits to creating pollinator habitat, educating about pollinators, and celebrating pollinators in accordance with the Bee City Canada Program.