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City of Chestermere

Bee City Chestermere

Chestermere is designated Western Canada’s first Bee City

The City of Chestermere, Alberta, is buzzing with excitement after becoming Western Canada’s first Bee City and the second in Canada. The city is taking action to fight against declines in pollinator populations and hopes to inspire other communities to join them in becoming Bee Cities!

Learn more about what the city is doing to protect pollinators by visiting Chestermere’s Bee City web page.

July 2019

2019 Renewal

In 2018 the City’s Parks Department continued its reduction of pesticide use that was formally introduced to the parks maintenance program in 2017. This included an update to the “Parks and Recreation Open Spaces Maintenance Standards”. Specifically, the threshold values for treatment of broadleaf weeds were doubled for Class 1 parks. Also the practice of spraying as a method of weed control on medians and boulevards was eliminated. Whenever possible, other non-chemical methods of weed control are favored such as mowing and hand-pulling. The focus has shifted to improving turf health through
proactive maintenance practices such as aeration, top dressing and over seeding.

This year, the Mayor of Chestermere, Marshall Chalmers, made a formal proclamation recognizing national pollinator week at a Council Meeting. We also held a planting event with community volunteers at the Centre for Community Leadership in Cornerstone Community Park.

This past year we continued planting flowering trees, shrubs and perennials in several areas around the City including Cornerstone Community Park where we held a volunteer planting event during National Pollinator Week. We helped to educate people about the importance of our pollinators by visiting local schools and helped the Calgary Zoo spread the word by volunteering at their Bee City information booth during their Easter Eggstravaganza weekend. Moving forward it will be essential to find community partnerships and more volunteers who can bring new ideas and continued enthusiasm in maintaining and creating habitats and providing educational opportunities for all ages. Media responses have been positive.

This year we held a planting event with volunteers from Lake Ridge Community Church and Synergy at Cornerstone Community Park. This is home to the city’s new Centre for Community Leadership and the Chestermere skate park. Various flowering shrubs and perennials were planted that attract pollinators over the entire growing season such as Lilac, Potentilla, Spirea and Monarda.

 

July 2019

August 2017

2017 Renewal

Our Bee City experience has been fantastic, Chestermere has a remarkable story. We went from being bee adverse to pro bee in a few years and Bee City Canada helped us on that journey. Chestermere became a Bee City on July 18th, 2016 after Dr. Preston Pouteaux, a local beekeeper and advocate approached the City of Chestermere about becoming a Bee City. Chestermere was featured on CBC radio, The Calgary Herald and other local papers after being officially announced as Western Canada’s First Bee City. We have not run into any obstacles thus far and the community’s response has been very positive.

A Bee City Committee was formed immediately following our designation and we began working together to determine what initiatives we would focus on for our first year.
Our Integrated Pest Management Technician updated our worksite practices to reflect a significant decrease in herbicide use. This included a discontinuation of spraying in or around parks that have playground equipment. We doubled the allowable threshold values for our Class 1 parks before spraying is required. We no longer spray medians and boulevards and we are also no longer spraying dandelions. Instead we are taking a more proactive approach that focuses on improving turf health through better maintenance practices.

A number of new projects have been identified for increasing pollinator habitat over the course of the 2017 growing season. This includes 6 new tree/shrub beds with plants that flower over the full growing season. A plant list of pollinator friendly plants was created and added to the City’s website.

August 2017
Bee City Chestermere

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