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Town of Whitby

Bee City Whitby

Whitby is the 10th Bee City in Canada!

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.


For more information on Whitby’s activities please visit: https://www.whitby.ca/beehive

Town of Whitby

February 2024

2024 Renewal

The Town of Whitby is taking action to protect and promote pollinators throughout the community through various initiatives. One of the initiatives taking place is the Whitby Public Library Seed Share which provides access to locally saved seed for anyone interested in growing food, attracting pollinators, saving their own seed and contributing to this public resource. The Town also holds educational seminars, community plantings and provides native wildflower seed packets to community members. For example, the Town has an Urban Rooftop Beehive Program sponsored by Elexicon Energy. With this beehive, we work with Alveole Beekeepers to deliver hands-on educational workshops to the community.

Previously, the Town has also worked to expand native plant habitat in local parks to help protect pollinators. We look to continue implementing this initiative again this year where Town of Whitby employees will be invited to plant native plants and shrubs. Furthermore, the Town has a Seed to Bees native plant nursery which helps support pollinators.

Lastly, the Town provides public education to raise awareness about pollinators through our social media channels (i.e., Facebook, X (Twitter), and Town of Whitby website). More specifically, the Town promotes the importance of pollinators throughout the year with a focus during environmental awareness days such as Pollinator Week, World Bee Day and Earth Month. Our posts include educational material about the importance of creating pollinator-friendly habitat, reducing pesticide use, and their role in our food systems.

February 2024

February 2019

2019 Renewal

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.

February 2019

December 2017

Bee City Application

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.

December 2017
Bee City Whitby

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