Hillsborough Named 35th Bee City USA

It’s not too early to start planning for spring and bees — especially since Hillsborough has been named the 35th Bee City USA!

The town earned the designation from the nonprofit national organization of the same name for its work to reverse pollinator declines.

As a designated Bee City, Hillsborough will work to help raise awareness of the role that pollinators play in sustaining more than 75 percent of the world’s plant species and to help expand pollinator-friendly practices and environments in town. Hillsborough Garden Club, which suggested that the town seek Bee City status, will work in partnership with the Hillsborough Public Space Division and Hillsborough Tree Board to develop the program and educational materials, including actions that residents can take.

“We will consider pollinators in all of our planting projects and maintenance strategies,” Hillsborough Public Space Manager Stephanie Trueblood said. “Promoting the use and care of native and adapted plants and utilizing sustainable practices for a healthy environment are key priorities of the Public Space Division.”

Recently, the town installed a pollinator garden in the parking lot adjacent to West King Street. The project, coordinated through the Public Space Division, was a partnership between the Tree Board — a volunteer advisory board of the town — and Hillsborough Garden Club. The town already had a pollinator garden at Gold Park, which was planted and is maintained by Orange County Master Gardeners.

“Bee City USA aspires to make people more PC — pollinator conscious, that is,” Founder and Director Phyllis Stiles said. “If lots of individuals and communities begin planting native, pesticide-free flowering trees, shrubs and perennials, it will create large-scale change for thousands of species of pollinators at risk. How each city or county celebrates pollinators is up to them, but we especially encourage educational programs for children, like school gardens. When a child falls in love with pollinators, they are friends for life.”

The Tree Board welcomes ideas for pollinator-friendly initiatives. The board meets at 9 a.m. the third Wednesday of each month in the Town Barn, 101 E. Orange St.

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