Recent Media Coverage

Whitby declared 10th 'bee city' in Canada and first in Durham Region

By Parvaneh Pessian,
Whitby This Week,
February 3 2018

Designation recognizes town’s commitment to protecting pollinators and their habitat

[photo]Aidan Brushett from Anderson Collegiate Vocational Institute in Whitby was one of the recipients of the Celebrating Youth Awards, which was presented by Councilor Steve Yamada and Mayor Don Mitchell at the Centennial Building on Nov. 7, 2017. Aidan played a key role in helping the Town of Whitby achieve its recent designation as a "Bee City," becoming the 10th municipality in Canada and the first In Durham Region to receive the title. January 31, 2018 - Metroland file photo

WHITBY — Whitby is buzzing with excitement after the town recently became the 10th in the country, and the first in Durham Region to be designated as a “Bee City.”

The designation is awarded by Bee City Canada to municipalities that make a declaration to protect pollinators and their habitat through action and education.

“Bees and other pollinators around the world have experienced dramatic declines in their population due to a combination of habitat loss, climate change, use of pesticides and the spread of pests and diseases,” said Meaghan Craven, staff liaison on the Whitby Sustainability Advisory Committee, during a special presentation at a council meeting on Jan. 29.

The Sustainability Advisory Committee is composed of about a dozen members who provide advice, support and guidance to council regarding sustainability, climate change, and environmental management issues. The group also supports education, awareness and stewardship in the community through engagement, outreach, and advocacy.

Building on the town’s current activities aimed at conserving and restoring pollinator habitats, new initiatives being explored this year include the planting of a new pollinator garden on Whitby’s waterfront and public education workshops and initiatives around the importance of pollinators.

Craven highlighted the efforts of Aidan Brushett, a student at Anderson Collegiate Vocational Institute in Whitby, who advocated for the designation on behalf of the Ontario Nature Youth Council. Last year, Anderson became the first high school in Canada to be designated as a Bee School for making a commitment to support pollinators.

“(Aidan) played a key role in ensuring support through meetings and communication with staff and by making a delegation to the Whitby sustainability advisory committee,” she said.

Shelly Candel, director of Bee City, thanked town staff and councillors for being the first among neighbouring municipalities to embrace the initiative.

“I think that takes a lot of courage and I congratulate all of you,” she said.

Mayor Don Mitchell received a “nicely worded” email from Aidan, he said, basically nudging him toward “getting with the program,” he added with a laugh.

“We are pleased to be named Canada’s next Bee City,” the mayor said.

“By becoming a Bee City, we join other Canadian communities and Bee City Canada in the commitment to support our bee populations and other pollinators.”

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