Local bee lovers are inviting everyone to take a few hours Sunday, July 9, to explore local gardens that support pollinators.

The gardens are not only beautiful, but the plants and landscape provide year-round forage and habitat for bees, butterflies, flies, moths and hummingbirds, according to a press release from Bee City USA Ashland, a subcommittee of Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission.

The tour will feature 17 pollinator gardens created by residents of Ashland. In 2016, gardeners submitted a nomination form indicating how the gardens met specific criteria, and each approved garden now displays a sign to mark the pollinator-friendly landscape.

Gardens range in style from "a bit on the wild side" to carefully designed. On this self-guided tour, tour-takers choose which gardens to visit. The gardeners will be in their gardens to welcome them and answer any questions.

Gardens will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the day of the tour. For the $10 fee, tour takers receive a booklet, which serves as their ticket, with a description of each garden and a map.

To preregister, go online to ashland.or.us/register or call the North Mountain Park Nature Center at 541-488-6606. Learn more at ashland.or.us/BeeCity.