John Muir’s quote speaks to the interconnectedness of all things. Humans to nature, nature to earth, earth to the universe, and the cosmos back to humans. Take for example the zeal surrounding the solar eclipse uniting us all under one sky to witness the moon’s passage over the sun. Something exceptional transpires when we grasp the power of this connection to ourselves, each other, and the greater world around us. It transcends our differences, binding us all to one awe-inspiring cosmic event.

On Sunday, August 6, I felt an elevated connection to my community at Jacksonville’s first Pollinator Appreciation Day Celebration at the Jville Market. While a pollinator event is no match for the power of an entire continent of people stepping outside en masse to witness a once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse, it does highlight a collective connection through a common interest: protecting pollinators.

At the event, our team of pollinactivists rallied support for (future) Bee City Jacksonville, shared information about native plants and pollinators, beekeeping, and integrated pest management approaches to landscaping. The children’s booth bubbled-over with the laughter of little ones coloring, making antennae, playing pollinator tag, and venturing on a pollinator scavenger hunt that involved the participation of more than twenty market vendors. We welcomed a visit from Councilor Criss Garcia, a champion for our cause.

Kristina Lefever, President of Pollinator Project Rogue Valley (PPRV), showed up to discuss the Rogue Buzzway Project connecting pollinator gardens throughout the region. Sydney Hamlett, also of PPRV, shared her expertise on soil biology and conservation. Tom Landis of Southern Oregon Monarchs Association (SOMA) brought his knowledge, along with rescued caterpillars, to educate on how to help turnaround the declining Monarch populations. Dael Wilcox from B11 Rescue provided an observation hive and suited-up bystanders for an up-close and personal inspection of honey bees.

The event was a success thanks to the hard work of many and a community connected.

A big thank you to:

  • The unbeelievably magnificent team of Jville pollinator advocates: Sharon Belttary, Nancy Cyr, Tiffany Grimes, Lauren Kemple, Shawn Kerr, Jeanne Knope, Adam Mull, Rebeca Ramm, Maretta Stiles, Steve Yancey, our youth activists Kjersti Mull, Adriana Mull, and our tiniest helper, Mary Twylla.
  • PPRV, SOMA, B11 Rescue, and all the worker bees who helped on the sidelines.
  • Whit Parker for taking photos and providing space in the Review for me to write about pollinators.
  • Jacksonville Community Center for kindly lending us tables and chairs.
  • Dozens of local businesses and residents who have sponsored our project through generous donations, and an appreciative shout-out to Herb Pharm for matching donations up to $1000.00. Our goal is to have enough funds to cover our first year expenses as a (future) Bee City. We’re nearly there! Please see Sponsor Thank You ad this page.

Jacksonville’s Pollinator Appreciation Day Celebration was the first of hopefully many to come; but in the future, we aim to do so as an official Bee City USA. Jacksonville’s Bee City initiative is on the city council agenda September 19. Will they vote “yes?”

Please come and show your support, and contact me if you’d like to be a sponsor. Many thanks!