For more information on Whitby’s activities please visit: https://www.whitby.ca/beehive
The Town of Whitby is committed to becoming a healthy, sustainable and complete community. Understanding that the pressures that pollinators face are a result of pests and diseases, habitat loss and climate change, we are responding through action. The Town continued to display its firm commitment as a Bee City of Canada and implemented several initiatives in 2022 including:
• Operation of the Seeds for Bees Native Plant Nursery
• The development of a Community Greening Program in partnership with LEAF to increase the native tree population of Whitby through community plantings
• Successful application to the Pollinator Project Native Plant Grant
• Positive feedback was received from residents who participated in volunteer tree and shrub planting events hosted by the Town of Whitby and LEAF. Volunteers look forward to future opportunities to help improve habitat for local pollinators in our community.
The Town of Whitby is committed to becoming a healthy, sustainable and complete community. Understanding that the pressures that pollinators face as a result of pests and diseases, habitat loss and climate change, we are responding through action. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Town continued to display its firm commitment as a Bee City of Canada and implemented several initiatives in 2021 including:
•Launch of a Seeds to Bee Native Plant Nursery
•Expansion of the LEAF Backyard Tree Planting Program to provide affordable access to native trees, shrubs and perennials
•The naming of a park as the Des Newman Whit-BEE park alongside a commitment for a Bee theme in 2022
•Several workshops including Climate Change Conversations, honey extraction and native plant gardening
Whitby hosts several initiatives undertaken to support native pollinator populations. This includes being a member of the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge, naturalization of a number of green spaces, native plant giveaways (milkweed and bee balm) at community events, and the maintenance of Whitby’s pollinator gardens located at Town Hall and the waterfront.
As a Bee City of Canada, the Town of Whitby is committed to increasing natural meadow habitat to support the survival of native pollinators. In 2019 this included:
• 1,355 square meters of meadow as a part of the Thickson Road Parking Project,
• 2800 square meters of meadow at Jeffery Park,
• A newly created pond and wetland in Rosedale Park.
In June 2019, The Town of Whitby installed an urban beehive on the rooftop of Town Hall as part of its commitment to being a “Bee City” and protecting local pollinators. The hive was installed during Pollinator Week (June 17 to 23), making Whitby one of the first municipalities in Canada to own a beehive. In support of the installation of the beehive, the Town hosted a “Powerful Pollinators” workshop during Culture in the Square in August 2019. This workshop increased awareness of the importance of pollinators and the positive effect they have on the environment.
It has been a great experience to have a group that collaboratively works cohesively to promote the importance of pollinators with the Town. It has also been beneficial to be able to execute projects, to leverage the resources of other internal Town departments and committees when a single department wouldn’t be able to as successfully conduct on their own. We have expanded our team to include other organizations such as the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA) who has several pollinator related projects within the Town of Whitby and the Durham Region area.
The Bee City Summit lectures and Buzz learning sessions have been very informative, especially from the scientific and academic point of view. They provide detailed information and guidance that would be difficult to research through our own mechanisms. Providing suggested activities at the end of the application form as well as being able to review applications and renewal applications from other municipalities, provides a basis for knowledge sharing and implementation for our municipality.
The Town organized a pollinator planting in May 2018, the funding of the planting project was provided by TD Friends of the Environment. The TD staff, the public, and other organizations participated in the planting project. It was very well received by the general public and media. The challenges for these type projects are the utilization of staff resources (planning and organization) and obtaining funding. The funding would generally come from external resources such as grants or sponsorship.
Town of Whitby is currently undertaking a number of programs, policy, communication and operating initiatives supporting pollinator biodiversity including:
• Recent creation of a Community Garden Policy and Program, which includes the encouragement to plant pollinator plants.
• Planting of a pollinator demonstration garden at Town Hall, that contains signage and educates the public on the different types of pollinator plants.
• Planting of flowering plants in hanging baskets and planters through downtown Whitby and downtown Brooklin.
• Planting of flowering trees in parks and boulevards throughout the Town.
• Continued planting of pollinator and butterfly friendly gardens within existing parks. Examples include: Brooklin Memorial Park, Darren Park, Nichol Park, Jeffery Park with additional plans to plant pollinator and butterfly friendly gardens in our new Upperview Park which is currently being constructed. The Town continues to make an effort to plant pollinator and butterfly friendly gardens within new parks, where the environment lends to the successful plantings.
• Continued re-naturalization of certain areas within parks close to the waterfront and naturalized areas by reducing or not mowing areas when milkweed and native flowering plants start to flourish.
• Continued to adhere to the Pesticides Act of Ontario and does not use Class 9 pesticides for cosmetic purposes on Town owned or leased property.
• Public education and promotion of native plantings on private land through the outreach efforts from the Social media outlets such as Facebook, twitter, and through the Whitby Sustainability Committee.