By Phyllis Stiles,
Director, Bee City USA
Thanks to volunteer Scott Offord at beepods, Bee City USA realized a longstanding dream this year. When cities/counties and institutions of higher education become certified as Bee City USA or Bee Campus USA affiliates, one of the commitments they make is to provide an annual report that is published each January summarizing their previous year’s accomplishments in pollinator conservation and awareness.
We had always wanted Bee City USA and Bee Campus USA affiliates to know about the innovative work their counterparts were doing. While at Bee City USA headquarters we hear incredible stories of winning new friends for pollinators and enhancing habitat for pollinators from our affiliates on a daily basis, there is simply no way we can communicate the ingenuity and joy expressed in each of those stories. We've always known the affiliates need to be able to tell their own stories. But how?
Experienced webmaster Scott Offord had the answer. He created a website just for annual reports, with a template page dedicated to each affiliate's story. Simple! The affiliates just place their text and photos into the "slots" provided, and Voila!, they communicate their year of achievements on a single webpage, available 24/7 around the world, complete with contact information if the reader wants to get in touch directly with the affiliate for more information. How empowering!
While city and college staff lead or support many of these efforts, passionate volunteers are at the forefront of most. These reports are bursting with inspiring stories of communities planting pesticide-free habitat rich in a diversity of locally native plants, discussing their community’s pest management policies with pollinators in mind, and hosting events for young and old to create awe for and greater understanding of the plant-pollinator collaboration that makes our planet bloom and fruit.
These reports inspire our national network of Bee City USA and Bee Campus USA affiliates with new, more efficient, more cost effective, more creative, or generally more impactful approaches. Thanks to Scott Offord for making our dream a reality!
Header photo by: Nancy Lee Adamson
These are the opinions and events of interest to the Bee City USA coordinator and Xerces Society.