Fort Bragg Becomes the 1st Bee City USA™ in California and 23rd in the Nation!
(Fort Bragg, CA July 8, 2016) – Fort Bragg’s City Council has voted unanimously to become a Bee City USA®, the first city designation in California. Bee City USA designees nationwide are a diverse group that includes Hales Corners, Wisconsin; Decatur, Georgia; Ashland, Oregon; Washington, D.C., and Seattle, Washington.
Bee City USA is a nonprofit national organization that fosters ongoing dialogue in urban areas to raise awareness of the role pollinators play in sustaining three-quarters of the world’s plant species, and how each of us can help provide healthy habitats.
The City’s designation is the result of great encouragement by the community and Bee Bold Mendocino, a local non-profit advocating for bees and pollinators throughout Mendocino County. Lavender Cinnamon and Paul Katzeff of Bee Bold Mendocino and Thanksgiving Coffee Company originally presented the proposal to Mayor Dave Turner as part of the ongoing effort to make Mendocino County bee friendly. At a recent City Council meeting, Scott Schneider, Administrative Services Director, presented the designated Bee City USA requirements to City Council members and the public, which include an annual celebration, signage and ongoing education raising awareness of the importance of pollinators and bees in our everyday lives. The City designated the Community Development Committee to facilitate Fort Bragg’s efforts to engage the community in promoting pollinator-friendliness.
“Our City Council let it be known that we understand the importance of sustaining pollinators, and want to do everything we can to make the city more pollinator-friendly” states Dave Turner, the Mayor of Fort Bragg. “We are proud to be the first Bee City USA in California and are grateful to the community and Bee Bold Mendocino for bringing the opportunity to our attention.”
Bee City USA founder and director, Phyllis Stiles explains, “The program aspires to make people more PC (“pollinator conscious,” that is). As more and more individuals and communities begin planting native, pesticide-free flowering trees, shrubs and perennials, it will create large-scale change for thousands of species of pollinators at risk. How each city or county celebrates pollinators is up to them, but we especially encourage educational programs for children, like school gardens. When a child falls in love with pollinators, they are friends for life.”
Lavender Cinnamon of Bee Bold Mendocino, said, “We are hopeful that each of the four cities in Mendocino County will be designated as a Bee City USA. I am grateful to Fort Bragg for becoming the first to lead the way to a bee friendly county. Fort Bragg is the ideal first candidate for certification, it is a city of gardeners and gardens: it has the garden club, the school gardens district-wide, the numerous community gardens from the city’s nonprofits, the farm to school program of Noyo Food Forest, and of course the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens.”
“Bee Bold” is the project name of Friend’s of the Earth’s national effort to educate Americans about the importance of bees as pollinators and of their imminent decline. Bee Bold Coffee is sold under an exclusive licensing agreement between Thanksgiving Coffee Company and Friends of the Earth.
Thanksgiving Coffee Company, celebrating its 44th year roasting coffee in Ft. Bragg, California, created an exclusive coffee package called Bee Bold to help fund Bee Bold Mendocino (BBM). Every package sold adds $1.00 to the coffers of BBM, the new community organization is bringing together community activists involved in keeping bees, gardeners with bee friendly gardens, and anti pesticide activists. The stated goal of BBM is to educate Mendocino County citizens about how to help the bees survive here and ultimately vote for a positive ballot initiative in November, 2017 containing regulations that support our bee populations and prohibit activities that harm both commercial hives and wild bee populations. An educated citizenry is the first step. Bee Bold, join us in celebrating our pollinators!
“I am delighted to hear the city of Fort Bragg saw the wisdom of doing this”, said Tanya Wyldflower, a local beekeeper, and one of the founders of the Mendocino Coastal Bee Keepers group, with over 200 community members. “We are continually being told how deeply gratifying bee keeping is, and how they love to contribute to a healthy ecosystem here on the coast. Supporting our pollinators is essential to our communities survival“.
For more information about the Fort Bragg Bee City USA program, contact Scott Schneider, Administrative Services Director, City of Fort Bragg, at (707) 961-2843
For more information on Bee Bold Mendocino and how to create a grass roots pollinator movement in your city go to www.facebook.com/beeboldmendo or contact Lavender Cinnamon at 707 964-0118 ext. 250