Saving the Bees at Stirling Public School

Saving the Bees at Stirling Public School

Stirling Public School’s super exciting actions to save the bees.

They recently become a Bee City Canada School and their garden is already growing!

Mrs. Mossman-Cross' Grade 1 Class

At Fun Fairs selling Wildflower Seed Paper and A. Vogel Echinacea seeds, using QR codes to explain pollinator decline, Stirling has shown what a lot of love and collective effort can achieve. Seeds are the very life that bees bring us, they keep ecologies healthy and diverse.

The seed paper allows them to make their pollinator garden even more beautiful and it is perfect for sharing with others who want to help feed pollinators too.

As you can see, the students in Miss Lee-Cook’s class make habitat creation for bees and butterflies a super fun event.

Makes you want to jump out and plant a garden!

Many hands dug into the earth, and together this delightful community of students and teachers created a place of beauty and bounty.

We are so thrilled that Mrs. Mossman-Cross and her class connected us with their fellow nature lovers at Stirling P.S., we can’t wait to meet them all!

Meeting the pollinators in their garden is going to be great too! Hello Bees!

 

T’it’q’et becomes a Bee City!

T’it’q’et becomes a Bee City!

We are very excited to declare T’it’q’et First Nation, located along the Fraser River and home to the P’egp’ig’lha People, as a Bee City!

Part of the Band Council’s adoption of the resolutions included a requirement that youth members will always sit on their Bee City working group.

After their first official meeting it was decided that, in fact, the youth members would lead the team.

Their relationship to the land is of utmost importance to them, and in honour of that the P’egp’ig’lha People use organic ways of gardening and agriculture. They have declared their land pesticide free, making it part of their commitment to sharing their wisdom throughout the Bee City family.

T'it'q'et Bee City Commitee
From left to right: Matthew Davidson, Cynthia Adrian (Chair), Lakota James, and Shawn Scotchman.

T’it’q’et was put on the path of becoming a Bee City by Shawn Scotchman, the community’s Social Development Coordinator.

“Our community felt it would be a great capacity building project for our youth to take charge of this project,” Shawn told us.

He went on to say that further partnerships with 1st Lillooet Scouts and local schools are being considered .

“Our youth leaders just might influence one or both of our schools to become Bee City Canada Schools!”

What a great way to engage even more young people!

Lakota James at the Health & Science Career Fair, Hosted by Xwisten (formally Bridge River Band) and T’it’q’et Education Coordinators on March 22, 2017 in the P’egp’ig’lha Community Center. For school aged children.

The Team

Cynthia Adrian – Youth Member

Cynthia became an environmental activist in high school. “I would save every little thing. I would save boxes and baggies, because I could find a use for them. It started with recycling and reusing. I wanted to learn how to grow food, live sustainably, save the Earth, and the water. It was a couple years ago, when I learned about the bees. And I made it my mission to tell anyone who would listen, mostly the daycare children where I worked. I taught them the difference between a wasp and a bee, and how bees do not want to harm us. I watched the bees on the sunflowers all summer. I want to help our Earth. I want to learn as much as I can, and teach it to our communities. Our plants and our source of food depend on the bees. I want to help save them.”

Lakota James – Youth Member

Lakota is the committee’s Secretary and Communication person. “I am interested because I’d like to learn more about how I can help. Helping the bees will play a big roll with our environment. Last year I saw a commercial about saving the bees and I’ve wanted to do something for them since. Getting out and helping and planning projects or activities to help will bring me joy and happiness knowing I made a difference.”

Shawn Scotchman

Shawn is a big fan of pollinators and has been following the Bee City programs for some time. In addition to working with his community to initiate their transition to a Bee City, he generously offered his assistance and expertise to help Bee City develop more inclusive application and resolution documents.

Shawn Scotchman will be the group’s Treasure and Finance officer “I created a small budget to help get this project up and running.

Matthew Davidson

Mathew is a horticulturalist and will be the team’s Science and Technical Specialist. He works at Amlec Organic .

Adam Lingor

Adam is also a horticulturalist and manages the Ucwalmicw Center Society’s Organic Community Garden. He will work closely with Matthew.

Susan Napoleon

Susan is T’it’q’et’s Education Coordinator. Her specialty is Indigenous plants that have been traditionally used for food and medicine. We are excited to share her plant lists and wisdom throughout St’at’imc territory and beyond at BeeCityCanada.org

Thanks to all of you!

We are filled with gratitude to the P’egp’ig’lha for protecting and celebrating pollinators.

Welcome to the Bee City Canada family!

Nick Sweetman: Pollinator Sweetheart!

Nick Sweetman: Pollinator Sweetheart!

Nick Sweetman is a vibrant, young, street artist whose murals can be seen across Toronto, often featuring impressively coloured bees and other creatures of the natural world. And, like us, Nick also understands the importance of protecting, promoting and celebrating pollinators, which is why we chose to feature him in this issue of our newsletter.

Nick graduated from OCAD University’s Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design program and is also certified through the Mural Routes Leadership Training in Mural-Making program.  We asked him about his public projects and what he hopes to convey through his work.

One of Nick’s earlier works featuring bees was done on a traffic box near High Park. Although smaller than some of his previous projects, it seemed to ignite interest in his work. Soon after this project was finished, he was approached by the city and asked to work on a large mural to help mark Pollinator Week and Toronto’s designation as a Bee City. Sweetman was more than happy to take this on and, shortly thereafter, created the stunning mural featuring a green sweat bee which now overlooks passersby at the prominent Bloor and Howland intersection.

Nick Sweetman's Beaware, High Park & Parkside, Toronto, Ontario. Painted through StreetARToronto, Outside the Box Program

He tells us that he’s always had a soft spot for the natural word and its creepy, crawly things, which is clearly conveyed in his art. He enjoys projects which provoke thought and create an encounter with the viewer. He also says that he seeks to create a sense of wonder about bees and believes that it’s easier to do this by painting them 40 feet tall!

He has since taken on several other bee-themed projects in various parts of the city and says that he tries to incorporate bees into his work whenever he has creative freedom. He mentions that becoming increasingly involved with such work has taught him about the diversity of bees. To underscore this point, he tells us how fascinated he was when he learned that there are 21,000 species of bees worldwide and that most of them are solitary.

Nick Sweetman's Green Sweat Bee mural, Bloor & Howland, Toronto, Ontario.
Other notable work that Nick has been involved with includes the “In Our Hands” mural at Valley Park Middle School. This eco-themed project was completed by Flemingdon and Thorncliffe Park artists in grades 10 and 11 working under the guidance of Nick. The mural, which was created in four separate sections, shows a growing sapling in cupped hands progressing through stages of its life, illustrating the impact of environmental stewardship over several generations. One interesting thing about this work is that parts of the mural were painted using blackboard paint which students of the school can fill with chalk messages encouraging environmental consciousness. Nick told us that he was very proud of this work and his collaboration with the young “artivists”.
To see more of Nick’s work visit nicksweetman.ca.
The first section of the "In Our Hands" mural. Created by Nick Sweetman, Toronto Emerging ARTivists (TEA) and The STEPS Initiative, Valley Park Middle School, Toronto.
A Visit to Our First Bee School Tredway Woodsworth Public School

A Visit to Our First Bee School Tredway Woodsworth Public School

Sharing the love story between flowers and pollinators.

On January 30th,  the Bee City team had the great pleasure of visiting Tredway Woodsworth Public School in Scarborough, Ontario.

After being warmly welcomed by Mme. White and her class of grade 3 and 4 students, our team led the class on a sensory exploration of the many beautiful elements of flowers.

The children also had an opportunity to sample chamomile tea sweetened with honey and learned about how many native plants are used by Indigenous communities for medicines and food.

We engaged in an appreciation for the aromas, tactile elements and visual intricacies of the flowers and how the pollinators are uniquely adapted to fit into them.

So much wonderful sharing of excitement in this lovely class. We have so much to learn form them as they follow their journey of exploration into the wild world of pollinators.

Tredway Woodsworth Public School was designated as our first Bee City School in 2016. They planted a roof top garden last year and created innovative bee homes for cavity nesters.

After our visit Mme. White and her students also created this lovey art for the River of Pollinators Exhibition.

We are so grateful for the warm invitation from Mme. White and her students.

Thanks so much for the joy you bring to Bee City!