Love Thy Pollineighbor – July 2017
She rested gently in his soft, young hand
In awe, he stared, at a smallness so grand.
What have we done? In earnest he pleaded.
They forgot, she whispered, how much we are needed.
But I don’t understand, he stuttered through tears.
You’re not to blame, she said, it’s been going on for years.
How can I help? His angst ever growing.
You cannot, she responded, it’s just too late for knowing.
You see, wisdom, too often, arrives too late.
People, long ago, determined my fate.
Some humans are unaware regarding toxicity.
Unwillingness to change results in complicity.
Be kind and wise, she tried to explain.
Please ensure that my family has not died in vain.
Will you think of me, I mean, after I depart?
He answered in silence, by way of broken heart.
She fell to her side, struggling to upright
The senseless poisons, winning the fight.
Fragility replaced a once lively existence.
There was no cure for her failing resistance.
Weakened and ailing, the bee acquiesced.
The child bargained and pleaded, trying his best.
One final buzz on delicate wings…
The last bee on earth no longer sings.
On February 21, Jacksonville City Council nearly rejected a proposal for Jacksonville’s Bee City USA certification. Instead, the initiative was tabled for six months. Councilors wanted to see if the community would rally around the idea of supporting Bee City Jacksonville.
What is a Bee City?—Pollinators are responsible for more than 30% of our food and nearly 90% of all wild plants around us. As pollinators face global declines due to habitat loss, poor nutrition, and pesticide exposure, cities, towns and now college campuses (the first being SOU) around the US and Canada are taking a stand to protect them by becoming certified Bee Cities.
Phyllis Stiles, Founder and Director of Bee City USA asserts “By applying for Bee City USA certification, a community publicly states its commitment to consider the needs of pollinators in landscaping decisions. Bee City USA affiliates and their volunteers are pollinator advocates that contribute to spreading awareness of the vital ecosystem services pollinators provide and what each of us can do to reverse their declines by incorporating more native plants and using fewer pesticides.
Just as billions of tiny bees, butterflies, moths, flower flies, and beetles contribute to our planetary resilience, each action we take to provide them a healthy place to live, eat, and reproduce, aggregates with countless other efforts to make a significant cumulative impact. When neighbors join together, a city or town can, indeed, make a remarkable difference.”
Oregon has four Bee Cities: Talent, Ashland, Phoenix, and Gold Hill. Given the vast amount of green space and potpourri of native plants here, it’s a natural progression for Jacksonville to stake a claim in protecting pollinators and becoming Oregon’s fifth Bee City.
Pollinator Appreciation Day—Come to Jacksonville’s first Pollinator Appreciation Day on Sunday, August 6, from 9:00am-1:00pm at the Sunday Jville Market on the D Street side. Show your support for Bee City Jacksonville so that City Council knows we mean beesiness.
Meet representatives from Pollinator Project Rogue Valley and learn about our native pollinators and the Southern Oregon Buzzway.
See a real beehive (in an observation box)!
Join our “We Support Bee City Jacksonville” sign campaign, the brainchild of local 10-year-old pollinactivist, Adriana. Our goal is to have a sign in every window. Bring your children to the kids’ activity table to color signs that we’ll hand out to residents.
I’ll be signing and selling my children’s book, Well Earth Well Me! 100% of the profits will be donated to this initiative.
Would you or your child like to be a Bee City volunteer? Would you like a PDF of the “We Support Bee City Jacksonville” sign for your children to color at home? Please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.