The City of Barrie is proud to be a member of Bee City! Barrie has been working with residents and community partners to enhance naturalization and pollinator opportunities for the past two decades. Implementation of the Pesticide Reduction Policy in 2003 and the Council adoption of a Naturalization Policy for all city lands in 2007 were our first steps towards a pollinator healthy community. Joining the Bee City initiative is another step towards an ecologically diverse and healthy city!
The City continues to uphold our commitment to protecting and creating pollinator habitats, providing community education, and celebrating our pollinators as we strive to be an active Bee City. Working with community groups, we are expanding habitat, promoting education, encouraging public participation, and supporting pollinators.
Highlights include the good work of dedication of Pollinate Barrie and the BIA to educate and engage the community in supporting pollinator habitat creation, propagating, and distributing native plants, and creating spaces that emphasize the environment through art. Removing barriers to enable action and building capacity has at times been difficult but finding a connection by working through these challenges brings growth and stability for common goals.
There were a few articles in the paper and social posts surrounding Pollinator Week, as well as an Instagram, Facebook and X posts.
It has been an excellent year for Bee City Barrie in our community as we continue to focus on expanding habitat, engaging our community, and providing educational opportunities. With COVID-19 restrictions lifted, it allowed us to move forward with more in-person and hands-on activities and events. There has been strong support from residents to expand our efforts. Lingering effects from the restrictions have continued to affect us but the City provided many examples of how to care for and support our pollinators. We are working towards how we can further enable our active volunteers to provide their valuable services to our community. There has been media coverage with most of the items summarized below, including a media press release for Pollinator Week. The City of Barrie communications team has excelled at using all available channels to promote the efforts of staff, partners, and active citizens.
The City of Barrie has been Canada’s 30th Bee City for three years, building and expanding our status as a pollinator supporter. Our work focuses on the revitalization and initiation of habitat, creating resources, fostering strong partnerships, promoting education, and increasing our community outreach. Our team has evolved as we continue to develop our role as pollinator people leaders for our community. Residents are looking to get involved in various ways to help protect pollinators.
Due to Covid-19, our programming has been virtual allowing for safe participation. With more people getting outside into our parks, there has been an increase of citizen involvement in supporting pollinators as residents identify opportunities to add pollinator beds or naturalized areas in their neighbourhoods. The City has initiated talks to expand programming with citizen groups like the Butterfly Rangers, Barrie Rotary Club, and Barrie Urban Gardeners. Connecting with these groups has been crucial for developing strong ties with our community.
Unfortunately, the impact of the pandemic demanded an adjustment of priorities and reduced staff time which drastically effected the number of projects that could be completed or initiated during the past year. There are some positives that came out of the pivots through innovation and program reevaluations which we will continue to work through to help us reach our Bee City goals
The City of Barrie was honored with the designation of becoming Canada’s 30th Bee City and has been steadily working to build and expand the initiative. It has been busy both on the forefront and behind the scenes.
Much of the work has focused on revitalization and initiation of habitat, creating resources, building strong partnerships, promoting education, and community outreach. Our team has been learning and growing into the role of pollinator people leaders so we can teach and guide our community. People are eager to learn more about Bee City and how be a part of the growing movement of protecting pollinators.
Bee City designation was premier event for the Community in Blooms International competition, which helped Barrie maintain its 5-blooms rating and provided the starting-point of our Bee City development. This created the bulk of our multiple media releases which produced many positive requests and inquiries from the public. By far the biggest challenge has been the cancellation of most of our celebratory events that were planned for 2020 which is both heartbreaking and necessary. This has opened the door for more online opportunities showing us that there are always ways to be connected.
Barrie has a number of existing pollinator gardens installed across the city (E.g. Sunnydale Park, Northshore Trail, Allandale Station Park)
We instituted a Pesticide Reduction Policy removing the use of cosmetic pesticides form our operations in 2006 ahead of the provincial regulation banning their use
Our city is continuing to modify its standard operating procedures to further reduce the total area of maintained turf grass in our parks system with the conversion of the turf to naturalized areas with the inclusion of native pollinators