Certified Bee City

Bee City USA LexingtonBee City Sponsor: Conservation Commission

Bee City Liason: Conservation Office, Email Conservation Commission

Bee City Program Facilitator: Citizens for Lexington Conservation (CLC)

View the Lexington Bee City Resolution (PDF).

Lexington Conservation staff have hosted and supported multiple projects that benefited pollinators. Starting in January 2021 and lasting through May 2021, Conservation staff organized and hosted a monthly webinar "Lexington Nature Speaker Series" to help keep our volunteers and community engaged over the winter months and during Covid-19. Three out of the six presentations were focused on themes regarding native pollinators and plants including: "More than just the buzz: Using native plant-pollinator systems as a tool for biodiversity conservation with Dr. Robert J. Gegear", "Bee City with Hannah Mullally", and "Nibbling on Natives in Your Back Yard and Beyond with Russ Cohen". Each webinar was recorded and made available to watch on our website.

Native Plant NurseryConservation staff partnered with Lexington Living Landscapes, and DPW staff for two projects including organizing a pollinator planting kit sale and establishment of a pollinator meadow on the Brown Homestead Conservation Area along the Minuteman Bikeway. The pollinator plant kits contained Zizia aurea (golden Alexanders), Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot), Pycnanthemum tenuifolium (narrow-leaved mountain-mint), and Solidago caesia (bluestemmed goldenrod). Over 1200 plants were sold, and all proceeds went towards supporting the establishment of our Native Plant Nursery later on in the year. The first year of the pollinator meadow at Brown Homestead focused on removal of Japanese knotweed in collaboration with DPW. In 2022, we hope to establish a pollinator meadow demonstration site to provide pollinator awareness and educational opportunities in town.

Pollinator Planting KitThe Native Plant Nursery had been a conceptual idea for a number of years and with the help and support of Conservation and DPW staff, one of the Lexington Conservation Commission Members spearheaded the effort to make it happen in 2021. Several work parties took place in April and July to prepare the site and erect the hoop house purchased from Pollinator Planting Kit profits. Plants will be grown on-site from seed sourced from New England eco-types as much as possible, with the aim of diversifying the plantings in our conservation areas with pollinator-friendly plants and especially for restoring areas that are being reclaimed from invasive plant growth. Future pre-order sales to the public for residential planting are also planned. A second plant sale was held in collaboration with Lexington Living Landscapes in October 2021 where 200 plants were sold to help fund the Native Plant Nursery and its projects.

Browne HomesteadField edge restoration work on the meadows at Daisy Wilson Meadow by Conservation staff, DPW staff, volunteers, and a hired contractor began in the fall of 2021. The nature of this preservation work focuses on removing encroaching vegetation - trees, brush, and invasive species - which have overtaken the field edges and have degraded the quality of the field both for wildlife and human enjoyment. The work will result in habitat improvements for wildlife in both the meadow and wooded areas and a glade-like appearance at the Moreland Street entrance. The majority of the work in the fall was focused on woody invasive plant removal and plantings of native trees and shrubs while plantings of native species in the meadow will take place in the spring of 2022. The majority of species chosen for plantings were considered based on their ability to create and support pollinator habitat.

Students Working with Bees"Thanks to the efforts of local Master Beekeeper Alix Bartsch, Citizens for Lexington Conservation, the Lexington Field and Garden Club, the Tree Commission, the Conservation Department, and many more local individuals and organizations, Lexington has become a certified Bee City as of November 2020!" Read more from Waka Okuda, a Lexington High School Senior ('21) and co-president of the LHS Bee Club in the Waka Okuda - Bee City Conservation Department Article (PDF)