Ottawa

'Bee City' designation for Ottawa not to be

Ottawa's City Hall could soon host a bee hotel, but the municipality won't go as far as becoming an official "Bee City" to help out the little pollinators.

City to create bee hotel, pollinator garden instead of signing onto formal campaign

Ottawa's City Hall could soon host a bee hotel, but the municipality won't go as far as becoming an official "Bee City" to help out the little pollinators.

City staff looked into the idea at the request of councillors, but found that adding Ottawa to the list of bee-friendly Canadian cities would create more paperwork without necessarily helping native bees more than the city already does.

Thirteen-year-old Genevieve Leroux also made a pitch that Ottawa sign a pledge to protect monarch butterfly habitat.

"We have to take action now. The monarch butterflies need our help," Leroux said.

City staff, however, say campaigns like Bee City Canada's and the Mayors' Monarch Pledge often come with time-consuming requirements to report on progress.

Instead of signing up for these specific programs, staff suggested new local ideas to fit within their budget, such as creating a pollinator garden and a bee hotel at City Hall or another city site.

Staff will also spend the next year studying other ideas, such as having crews maintain better pollinator habitats at roadsides and parks, and creating grants for community groups to do projects to benefit native pollinators.

Coun. Keith Egli also suggested the city proclaim a pollinator appreciation day to boost awareness of the threats to such species.

The other councillor who asked staff for the original study, Catherine McKenney, was disappointed the city didn't actually sign on to become a formal "Bee City."

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