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Talent earns Bee City USA designation

Talent is the second Bee City USA in the country, a title conferred by a national organization working to protect honeybees and other pollinators.

Talent began exploring the designation late last year and applied this year. 

Asheville, N.C., the home base for Bee City USA, is the other Bee City.

“I’m delighted. I knew it was going to happen. It was just when,” said Dolly Warden, who led Talent's effort. Warden serves on the city’s Together for Talent Committee, which took the application proposal to Talent City Council.

Bee City USA promotes awareness of pollinator contributions and practices to help them, including reduction or elimination of pesticides, planting guidelines and creations of bee-friendly areas.

Among requirements for the designation is annual celebration of National Pollinator Week, adopting a Bee City resolution, posting pollinator information on the city website and yearly renewal of the status. Another requirement, formation of a pollinator subcommittee, has already been done by Together for Talent.

Bee City also requires posting a sign with the designation. An anonymous donor has offered to pay for three signs, Warden said. She would like to see them placed on West Valley View Road coming off Interstate 5 and at the town’s north and south entrances on Highway 99.

“We couldn't be more delighted about Talent. We agreed that they were a great candidate,” said Phyllis Stiles, director of Bee City USA in Asheville. “They had gone through all the steps that we asked them to go through. They passed.”

Other cities are in the process of getting local approval and submitting applications, Stiles said.

“We continue to be excited, and we appreciate they showed leadership and that other cities can follow in their footsteps,” Stiles said.

Ashland’s City Council will hold a study session on the designation in October, she said.

Warden would like to establish pollinator corridors in town. She visited Seattle, where a corridor was created along 12 blocks with bee-friendly plantings replacing the usual grass in areas between sidewalks and the street.

A free forum on “Plants for Our Pollinators” will be given by Together for Talent on Saturday, Sept. 6, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Talent library.

Tony Boom is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach him at tboomwriter@gmail.com.