Local DAR chapter secures proclamations from Gov. Herbert, Mayor Pike declaring importance of pollinators

Stock photo, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Bees are one of the key pollinators of wild plants that form the foundation of the food web and provide habitat for all other wildlife. Domesticated honey bees, along with native bee species, are considered vital to the nation’s agriculture economy and food supply, helping to provide one-third of all the food we eat.

These are just some of the statements included in proclamations recently signed by Gov. Gary Herbert and St. George Mayor Jon Pike after Sue McElhaney, conservation chairwoman for the Color Country Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, reached out to both officials asking them to support bees and other essential pollinators by acknowledging their importance and protecting their habitats.

Herbert has declared June as “Bee Month” in Utah. The declaration from the governor goes on to say that Utah is blessed with an abundance of natural resources – including more than 4,000 native bee species – and that cities, towns and counties have a critical role to play to help save bees and other pollinators by creating habitats for them and planting native plants that both attract and encourage pollination.

Earlier this month, Pike signed a proclamation declaring the week of June 17-23, 2019, as “National Pollinator Week” in the city of St. George. Pike’s proclamation states that bees, as well as other pollinators such as birds, insects and bats, are essential partners for ranchers and farmers and are vitally important to the health of our national forests and grassland, providing the forage needed for fish and wildlife.

This isn’t the first effort made by DAR Color Country Chapter to preserve pollinators. According to a press release from the organization, for the past two years, they have sponsored a bee pollinator garden at the Red Hills Desert Garden, believing habitat preservation for pollinators is essential to our environmental health and well-being.

A yarrow plant at Red Hills Desert Garden, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of DAR Color Country Chapter, St. George News

McElhaney is largely credited for initiating and nurturing the garden. In a letter written by Ryan White, manager of Red Hills Desert Garden, he said McElhaney’s energy and passion for protecting pollinators is “inspiring.”

“I am grateful for her dedication and support,” he wrote.

Chapter regent Valerie King said in the press release that she is proud of McElhaney’s commitment to the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, NSDAR’s conservation initiative for 2018-19, and the powerful awareness she has successfully rallied through her “tireless efforts.”

To learn more about bees and their contributions, click here.

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