Nov. 23, 2021
What’s All the Buzz About?
Buda Becomes an Affiliate of Bee City, USA
BUDA, TEXAS – Through the endorsement of the Buda City Council, the City of Buda joins the ranks of 144 other cities and 123 colleges and universities across the country as Bee City USA® affiliates.
While the City Council officially voted to approve the affiliation in September, the work to improve the City’s landscapes for bee pollinators begins now. “What this means is that the real work begins with a commitment to include opportunities to expanding plant selection in public spaces, integrated pest management, and increased sustainability capacity for native and migratory species,” said Kenneth Crawford, Buda’s project manager who spearheaded the effort to obtain the affiliation. “The City encompasses more than 2,000 acres of natural space, 268 acres of maintained parkland, the Onion Creek watershed, as well as the municipal complex and library—all of which can ideally serve as a platform for program connectedness and experience,” he added.
Bee City USA is an initiation established by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, a nonprofit organization based in Portland, Oregon. The mission of Bee City USA 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, honeybees, 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 humans consume.
Crawford worked to obtain full support of the city’s leadership, starting with research that he presented to Buda’s Sustainability Commission that ultimately endorsed a proposed resolution Aug. 5, 2021, which the City Council later voted unanimously to adopt.
Molly Martin, Bee City USA coordinator, explained that how each city completes the steps to conserve pollinators is up to them. “To maintain their affiliation, each affiliate is expected to report on their achievements and celebrate being a Bee City USA affiliate every year,” she said.
“This provides the Hill Country region with a centralized, pollinator-friendly outdoor home that is ideally located to broaden the knowledge, awareness, and sensitivity of individuals, students of all ages, pollinator and gardener groups, and institutions by connecting talent, research, and capacity for the betterment of our ecosystem,” Crawford said. “Collaboration with clubs, associations, various interest groups and colleges will provide a bountiful resource and participation platform from which we can continuously improve! This is just beginning as we will seek a near-term, long-term, and strategic look at how we can be a model of what right looks like.”
Crawford said that the initial objective for the affiliation will be to create and adopt an Integrated Pest Management Plan with the City’s Public Works and Parks and Recreation departments. Seeking to minimize or eliminate pesticide, insecticide, and herbicide chemicals that contaminate waters and plants that can be harmful to bees is everyone’s responsibility. He said he expects the City will create partnerships with extension services, communities, colleges and universities and other organizations interested in best practices for creating a sustainable environment.
NOTE TO PRESS: To arrange an interview with Project Manager Kenneth Crawford or a member of the Buda Sustainability Commission, please contact LaMarriol Smith at 512-523-1052.
Visit the City of Buda’s Bee City USA webpage at www.beecityusa.org/user/budatx/.
The City of Buda is home to about 18,000 residents and has earned designations as a “Texas Main Street City,” “Tree City USA,” “Bee City Affiliate” and “Platinum-Level Scenic City.” Buda is situated along the Interstate 35 corridor in Hays County, has 14 parks and a historic downtown district where residents and visitors alike can shop, dine, relax, and breathe easy here.
— # # # —