Hillsboro Became the Sixth Bee City USA in Oregon in June 2019
Hillsboro City Council unanimously voted on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 to become a Bee City USA, joining more than a hundred other cities and campuses across the country united in improving their landscapes for pollinators.
As a Bee City, Hillsboro affirms its support for creating sustainable habitats for pollinators and educating residents about the critical role bees play in our ecosystem.
The Council’s action comes after months of effort by City staff, community pollinator experts, and advocates to accomplish Bee City USA certification.
A RESOLUTION HILLSBORO OREGON DESIGNATING HILLSBORO AS A BEE CITY USA AFFILIATE.
WHEREAS, the mission of Bee City USA is to galvanize communities to sustain pollinators, responsible for the reproduction of almost 90% of the world’s flowering plant species, by providing them with healthy habitat, rich in a variety of native plants and free or nearly free of pesticides; and
WHEREAS, thanks to the more than 3,600 species of native bees in the United States, and roughly 500 known to occur in Oregon, along with introduced honey bees, we have very diverse dietary choices rich in fruits, nuts, and vegetables; and
WHEREAS, bees and other pollinators have experienced population declines due to a combination of habitat loss, poor nutrition, pesticides (including insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides), parasites, diseases, and climate change; and
WHEREAS, pollinator-friendly communities can benefit local and regional economies through healthier ecosystems, increased vegetable and fruit crop yields, and increased demand for pollinator-friendly plant materials from local growers; and
WHEREAS, ideal pollinator-friendly habitat:
- Provides diverse and abundant nectar and pollen from plants blooming in succession throughout the growing season;
- Provides undisturbed spaces (leaf and brush piles, unmown fields or field margins, fallen trees and other dead wood) for nesting and overwintering for wild pollinators
- Provides water for drinking, nest-building, and butterfly puddling;
- Is free or nearly free of pesticides, as many pesticides can harm pollinators and/or their habitat;
- Is comprised of mostly native wildflowers, grasses, vines, shrubs, and trees, since many wild pollinators prefer or depend on the native plants with which they co-adapted;
- Provides connectivity between habitat areas to support pollinator movement and resilience; and
WHEREAS, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a long-term approach to maintaining healthy landscapes and facilities intended to minimize risks to people and the environment by: identifying and removing the causes of pest problems rather than only attacking the symptoms (the pests); employing pests’ natural enemies along with cultural, mechanical, and physical controls when prevention is not enough; and using pesticides only when no other method is feasible or effective; and
WHEREAS, supporting pollinators fosters broad-based community engagement in environmental awareness and sustainability; and
WHEREAS, Hillsboro should be certified a Bee City USA community because:
- The Hillsboro Comprehensive Plan includes goals and policies to foster healthy ecosystems and to advance environmental sustainability in our community;
- The Hillsboro 2035 Community Plan seeks to guide Hillsboro’s future growth and evolution through coordinated, collaborative community engagement;
- The goals of Bee City USA are consistent with the Hillsboro Environmental Sustainability Plan, which drives proactive measures to protect natural assets, minimize greenhouse gas emissions, and recover, recycle and renew resources;
- Hillsboro is home to a city government, school system, and a host of businesses, churches, organizations, and community members who are engaged in pollinator-friendly practices;
- Hillsboro is home to several community gardens that prohibit gardeners from using synthetic chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY OF HILLSBORO RESOLVES AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. In order to enhance understanding among local government staff and the public about the vital role that pollinators play and what each of us can do to sustain them, Hillsboro chooses to support and encourage healthy pollinator habitat creation and enhancement.
Section 2. The City of Hillsboro Parks & Recreation Department is hereby designated as the Bee City USA sponsor.
Section 3. The Parks & Recreation Manager of the Parks & Recreation Department is designated as the Bee City USA liaison.
Section 4. Facilitation of the Hillsboro Bee City USA program is assigned to the Council-appointed Hillsboro Sustainability Task Force.
Section 5. The Hillsboro Sustainability Task Force is authorized to and shall:
- Celebration: Host at least one educational event or pollinator habitat planting or restoration each year to showcase Hillsboro’s commitment to raising awareness of pollinator conservation and expanding pollinator health and habitat.
- Publicity & Information: Install and maintain at least one authorized Bee City USA street sign in a prominent location, and create and maintain a webpage on the Hillsboro City website which includes, at a minimum:
- A copy of this resolution and links to the national Bee City USA website;
- Contact information for the Bee City USA liaison and Sustainability Task Force;
- Reports of the pollinator-friendly activities the community has accomplished the prior year(s); and
- A recommended native plant species list and IPM plan.
- Habitat: Develop and implement a program to create or expand pollinator-friendly habitat on public and private land, which includes, but is not limited to, the following actions:
- Identify and inventory Hillsboro real property that can be enhanced with pollinator-friendly plantings;
- Create a recommended locally native plant list to include wildflowers, grasses, vines, shrubs, and trees and a list of local suppliers for those species; and
- Track (by square footage and/or acreage) annual area of pollinator-friendly habitat created or enhanced.
- Pollinator-Friendly Pest Management: Create and adopt an IPM plan.
- Policy: Establish, if needed, a policy in the Hillsboro Comprehensive Plan to acknowledge and commit to the Bee City USA designation.
- Policy and Plans: Revise Hillsboro’s Comprehensive Plan to acknowledge and commit to the Bee City USA designation.
- Renewal: After completing the first calendar year as a Bee City USA affiliate, each February, apply for renewal of Hillsboro’s designation following the format provided by Bee City USA, including a report of the prior year’s Bee City USA-related activities, and pay the renewal fee based on Hillsboro’s population.
Approved and adopted by the Hillsboro City Council at a regular meeting held on the 18th day of June 2019.
Bee City Committee
The Hillsboro Environmental Sustainability Task Force will serve as the City of Hillsboro's official Bee City USA Committee and liaise with a committee of staff who will coordinate internal work to meet the requirements of the Bee City USA program.
Bee City Liaisons
Our City of Hillsboro Bee City Liaisons are Peter Brandom of the City Manager's Office and Lori Prince of the Parks & Recreation Department.
Bee City USA is an initiative of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, a nonprofit organization based in Portland, Oregon, with offices across the country.
Bee City USA’s mission is to galvanize communities to sustain pollinators by providing them with healthy habitat, rich in a variety of native plants and free of insecticides.
Pollinators like bumble bees, sweat bees, mason bees, honey bees, butterflies, moths, beetles, flies, hummingbirds and many others are responsible for the reproduction of almost 90 percent of the world's flowering plant species and one in every three bites of food we consume.
You can support our population of native pollinators like bees, butterflies, moths and hummingbirds by adding plants that provide them food and shelter to your yard and garden.
Recommended Native Plant Species Resources
Currently, the City of Hillsboro collaborates with Clean Water Services to create and update an Integrated Pest Management Plan for the Tualatin River watershed area.
As part of Hillsboro’s Bee City USA resolution, the City has committed to expand pollinator friendly pest management efforts by developing a cohesive Integrated Pest Management Plan that ensures a coordinated approach across City departments.
What is Integrated Pest Management?
Integrated Pest Management is based on the life cycles of pests and their interactions with the environment, and manages pest damage while limiting the hazard to people, property, and the environment. Integrated Pest Management begins with careful avoidance of pests through cultural practices, prevention, early detection, then evaluation of pests before a chemical option is selected.
Best practices include:
- Know the pest.
- Set appropriate thresholds.
- Use the most appropriate control technique or pesticide, starting with the least toxic.
- Pay careful attention to the method and rate of application (as per labeling instructions).
- Maintain equipment and safely handle materials.
- Stay educated on pest control techniques through licensure, professional associations, testing, and regulation of the pesticides.
- Bee Basics: An introduction to our native bees
A free 48-page booklet about native bees from the US Department of Agriculture, the US Forest Service, and Pollinator Partnership.
- Bees of Oregon
A visual guide to some of the most common bee species in Oregon.
- Common Bee Pollinators of Oregon Crops
A guide designed to help identify the most common groups of bees in Oregon crops.
- A Homeowner's Guide to Bee Identification
Bee, wasp, or something else? This Angie's List homeowner's guide will help you identify flying insects.
- Wild Bee ID provides bee and plant guides with photos to help you identify native bees in your backyard.
- Bees, Hornets, and Wasps of the World
A visual guide that will help you identify flying insects, and includes information on which species are important to ecosystems, which are endangered, which make honey, and which should you worry about if you ever see it on a hike.
- Attracting Pollinators to Your Garden
A publication about supporting and encouraging pollinator populations provided by the US Department of Fish and Wildlife.
- Four Simple Steps to Help Pollinators
Help bring back pollinators with these four simple steps from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
Pollinators are essential to our environment. The ecological service they provide is necessary for the reproduction of over 85% of the world’s flowering plants, including more than two-thirds of the world’s crop species.
- Visit the Xerces Society Pollinator Conservation Program webpage for more information.