“We’re here to celebrate the fact that Eugene has been voted ‘America’s Most Bee Friendly City,'” said Lisa Arkin.
Arkin is the director of Beyond Toxics, a local non-profit that teaches about the dangers of toxics in the environment. She and other supporters are out celebrating what they’ve fought hard for.
“We’re the first city in the nation to really protect bees, take a positive step action step and ban certain pesticides that kill bees,” said Arkin.
Arkin says with bee populations declining by 30 percent every year, it was important for Beyond Toxics to fight for them.
“At that rate, we won’t have bees left to pollinate all the fruits and veggies we love to eat. If we don’t have bees, we don’t have food. Humans and bees are interconnected,” said Arkin.
She says after the city voted to ban pesticides from parks like the Washington Park, it helped them to earn the bee-friendly crown.
Dozens of families, businesses, and musicians came to celebrate the new title for Eugene. Also in attendance was another big supporter and reason behind the recognition: Mayor Kitty Piercy
“They are so essential to everything that we grow and everything that we grow is essential to our lives. I can’t think of anything more important than trying to be sure that we have bees for many, many, many generations to come,” said Mayor Piercy.
“I am so proud to be in Eugene, America’s Most Bee Friendly City, because we’re a model for other cities,” said Arkin.