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The Pollinator Connection: Bee the change

By Kristina Lefever for the Tidings December 30, 2018

I am continuing my theme from November (“Bee Engaged”) because, yes, together, we can make change happen. Hopefully you agree.

In my last column I expressed concerns about Section 9101 in the proposed Farm Bill, which would have removed current and future abilities of municipal governments to restrict pesticide use on their properties. Thanks to your calls and letters — including one from the city of Talent — and thousands from all over the country, the language was removed.

Talent deserves another accolade: Because of the determination and perseverance of many residents, the City Council voted unanimously on Dec. 3 to implement its first Integrated Pest Management policy, one that states synthetic pesticides will be used only as a last resort for maintaining city and park property. Congratulations, Talent! I am proud to say that this change happened in part because of the Non Toxic Rogue Valley initiative formed by Beyond Toxics and Pollinator Project Rogue Valley. I have no doubt other cities in the Rogue Valley will be making such a change in the near future.

Another bellwether is the 12-cottage development to be built on Laurel Street in Ashland by KDA Homes. I was very pleased to have been asked to provide information about deer-resistant pollinator plants for the project, and even more pleased to know there will be a no-synthetic pesticides policy, even during construction. They plan to apply for a Bee City USA Ashland Pollinator Garden designation and will be on the Rogue Buzzway.

I posed a few questions to Tom Madera of Madera Design about the project, called The Garden Cottages:

Why are you choosing this business model?