Media Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Stratford becomes Ontario’s second Bee City

Stratford, April 10, 2017 - Thanks to the efforts of grade 10 student Ethan Elliott, Stratford is Ontario’s newest Bee City. The designation means a greater commitment to protecting pollinators and starting a public dialogue about their importance.

“What Ethan has accomplished in Stratford is an inspiring example of the positive impact one person – no matter his or her age – can have in their community. We are thrilled to support Ethan’s efforts as an active and engaged young environmentalist,” says Sarah Hedges, Ontario Nature’s conservation and education coordinator.

Elliott has always been passionate about nature and was concerned about protecting bees. As a member of Ontario Nature’s Youth Council, he saw great educational potential in Stratford becoming a Bee City. Protecting pollinators is just one of the youth-led initiatives. The council’s mission is to build a diverse provincial network of youth dedicated to inspiring, connecting and educating our communities while protecting wild species and wild spaces.

“Ethan was able to bring together farmers, artists and politicians around a table to share common concerns about what's happening to our pollinators. By creating a Bee City, they can slowly change green grass into pollinator habitat and make Stratford an even more beautiful city,” says Shelly Candel, director of Bee City Canada. The announcement comes just over a year after Toronto became Canada’s first Bee City in March 2016. Ninety percent of the world’s wild plants depend on pollinators to reproduce and one in three bites of food we eat is thanks to pollinators. Bee City Canada’s vision is to protect, promote and celebrate pollinators for a healthier ecosystem.

“Living in an agricultural community, there is an incredible opportunity to bring attention to the importance of biodiversity in farming,” says Elliott. “Bee City allowed me to make meaningful change and feel as if my opinions mattered. I am forever grateful to Bee City Canada for creating this incredible program.”

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For more information, please contact:

John Hassell, Director of Communications and Engagement, Ontario Nature: 416-444-8419, ext. 269; cell: 416-786-2171; johnh@ontarionature.org.

Shelly Candel, Director, Bee City Canada: 647-402-0133; shelly@beecitycanada.org.

About Ontario Nature
Ontario Nature protects wild species and wild spaces through conservation, education and public engagement. Ontario Nature is a charitable organization representing more than 30,000 members and supporters, and 150 member groups across Ontario. For more information, visit ontarionature.org.

About Bee City
Bee City Canada offers a simple program that all communities across this country can adopt, in order, for all of us to do something positive, for all the incredible pollinators that live in our backyards. We invite all pollinator friendly communities to become part of the movement that is sweeping this country. For more information, visit beecitycanada.org

a brown belted bumble bee, a native species of bumble bee
Brown-belted bumble bee, Credit: Beatrice Laporte

a tri-coloured bumble bee, a native species of bumble bee
Tri-coloured bumble bee, Credit: Leslie Bol

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