Photo: A "bee hotel" at the Campbell County Extension Office. This year, the Master Gardeners will begin an "urban orchard" at Camplex Park, in conjunction with the Campbell County Parks & Recreation department. The trees planted in the orchards will have these "bee hotels," which are designed to encourage bees to hibernate in Campbell County for the winter. The hope is that maintaining the pollinator population will encourage the fruit to grow.
"Our goal for  is to hold workshops out there for pruning fruit trees, harvesting fruit trees, and doing anything to educate the community," said horticulturalist Hannah Johnson with the Extension Office.
Press release from the City of Gillette:
Gillette, WY, January 26, 2018 – Bee City USA® has renewed Gillette’s certification for 2017 following a rigorous renewal application process. This completed the efforts of the Campbell County Master Gardeners’ Pollinator Committee to accomplish this re-certification, the facilitating committee for Gillette’s efforts to engage the community in promoting pollinator-friendliness.
In 2016, the United Nations reported that forty percent of the world’s 350,000 pollinator species were at risk of extinction. Bee City USA is a national nonprofit organization that galvanizes communities to sustain pollinators by providing them with healthy habitat, rich in a variety of native plants and free to nearly free of pesticides. Imperiled pollinators like honey bees, bumble bees, butterflies, moths, bats, hummingbirds, and others are responsible for the reproduction of ninety percent of the world's wild plant species and one in every three bites of food we consume.
Mayor Louise Carter King said, “Our City Council understood the importance of sustaining pollinators when we voted to become a Bee City USA affiliate in 2016. We commend the Campbell County Master Gardeners’ Pollinator Committee for the impressive gains we made last year.”
According to Megan McManamen, chair of the Pollinator Committee for the Campbell County Master Gardeners, “With the invaluable support of the Mayor, City Council, and the City Parks Division, we were able to create pollinator habitat and increase awareness of pollinator-friendly gardening practices in our community. From planting a Pollinator Rain Garden to hosting our first Annual Gillette Pollinator Day Celebration, we had an extremely successful first year as Wyoming’s first Bee City USA affiliate. We would also like to thank our community for being so supportive of our efforts.”
A new year brings new opportunities for raising awareness of the vital role pollinators play in supporting our food systems and the planet generally. The Master Gardeners’ Pollinator Committee meetings are held throughout the year with dates and times advertised on the Campbell County Master Gardener webpage at www.ccgov.net/282/Master-Gardener and invites all residents of Gillette to offer their ideas for pollinator-friendly initiatives. The more people and organizations involved, the sooner pollinator declines will be reversed.
To see Gillette’s annual report as well as other Bee City USA affiliates’ annual reports visit http://reports.beecityusa.org/.
For more information about the Bee City USA organization visit www.beecityusa.org or email Director Phyllis Stiles at email@example.com.
For more information about the Gillette Bee City USA program, contact Hannah Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or Megan McManamen at email@example.com.
Brenda Kirk is a writer with over two decades of journalism experience.