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Town of Okotoks

Bee City Okotoks

The Bee City experience over the past year has been a success

A challenge that we faced this past year was the timing of Pollinator Week in the year, as for a town like Okotoks in southern Alberta, June is still very early in the season. We discussed this with with Bee City Canada, and were approved to celebrate Pollinator Week in July. This allowed us to get much more traction in the community. The newsletters from Bee City are quite helpful, especially to see what others are doing in their communities. The Town’s designation as a Bee City was well received and resulted in a local news story.

Okotoks’ slogan is “Historic Past, Sustainable Future” and we know that being a Bee City will help us achieve a sustainable community for people, plants, and all critters who call Okotoks home. As we continue to protect and support native pollinators we are excited to see the vibrant ecosystem that develops in our community.

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March 2023

2023 Renewal

The Bee City experience over the past year has been a success. A challenge that we faced this past year was the timing of Pollinator Week in the year, as for a town like Okotoks in southern Alberta, June is still very early in the season. We discussed this with with Bee City Canada, and were approved to celebrate Pollinator Week in July. This allowed us to get much more traction in the community. The newsletters from Bee City are quite helpful, especially to see what others are doing in their communities. The Town’s designation as a Bee City was well received and resulted in a local news story.

The Town of Okotoks has an Integrated Pest Management Plan. The IPM Plan takes a proactive approach to pest management in our community by using cultural, biological, mechanical, chemical, legal, and genetic means to prevent and control weeds and pests. Herbicides are only used as a last resort option to control noxious and prohibited noxious weeds or when nuisance weeds exceed threshold levels. Control of invasive species is necessary to preserve the ecological integrity of pollinator habitat in Okotoks and this is achieved with our IPM Plan. The Parks Department only uses pesticides when it is necessary to control pests by law or if the uncontrolled spread of a weed population will have a negative impact on surrounding habitats. The Parks Department uses alternative weed control methods including steam, mechanical and biological means to further reduce the use of pesticides wherever possible.

March 2023

April 2021

Bee City Application

The Town of Okotoks renewed the Integrated Pest Management Plan (IPM Plan) in 2019. The IPM Plan takes a proactive approach to pest management in our community by using cultural, biological, mechanical, chemical, legal, and genetic means to prevent and control weeds and pests. Herbicides are only used as a last resort option to control noxious and prohibited noxious weeds or when nuisance weeds exceed threshold levels. Control of invasive species is necessary to preserve the ecological integrity of pollinator habitat in Okotoks and this is achieved with our IPM Plan. The Parks Department also leaves deadfall and certain areas unmowed in the river valley for pollinator habitat, uses mulched leaves in fall in appropriate shrub and tree beds, plants shrubs and perennials in the understory of mulch beds when possible, and plants native plant material where appropriate.

The Water Conservation Rebate Program is a long standing program offered by the Town of Okotoks. Residents can receive a rebate for the purchase of items that reduce their water usage, including drought tolerant perennials, shrubs, and trees. Many of these plants are native species and pollinator friendly. This program results in more pollinator habitat and food sources available in private yards throughout Okotoks. Additionally, the Environment & Sustainability and Parks departments partnered to install an alternative ground cover demonstration plot at the Environmental Education Centre. The plots were installed to educate the public about pollinator friendly and drought tolerant turf alternatives. Signage indicating species identities and additional information is located near the plots for residents to read. For the past 3 years, the Town of Okotoks has hosted annual native bee workshops to help inform residents about the positive impact native bees have within the ecosystem. The workshops include building a bumble bee nesting house and involvement in a citizen science program run by the Alberta Native Bee Council.

April 2021
Bee City Okotoks

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