ACT for Bees congratulates Selina Walker, Ngunnawal woman and Co-chair of the Reconciliation Council ACT as the ACT 2024 Local Hero. We acknowledge the very significant contribution that Selina has made to our local community through her work for reconciliation, for Aboriginal families and children, especially those in out-of-home care, and for her advocacy work for Indigenous people within the justice system.
It was such an honour for Julie Armstrong, representing ACT for Bees, to make it to the final four nominees. Julie has worked tirelessly for the past 10 years to raise the importance of bees and pollinators for our food security, biodiversity and environmental health. As MC, Adam Shipley said at the award ceremony, to make it to the final four finalists means the nominee is a legend and Julie certainly is that in our eyes.
In addition to being a wonderful acknowledgement of the leadership that Julie has shown over the past 10 years, Julie’s inclusion in the final 4 nominees is also a recognition of the many volunteers and partners that have made ACT for Bees the organisation that it has become since its formation in February 2014. Collaboration and partnerships have always been the cornerstone of Julie’s approach and ACT for Bees has developed strong partnerships with a very broad range of community organisations as well as government and commercial entities. We will continue to nurture those relationships and work together to keep those connections strong.
In a recent radio interview, Julie talked briefly about how she came to found ACT for Bees, how as individuals we can support pollinators through planting “bee friendly” gardens, by not using pesticides, or by participating in citizen science projects such as pollinator counts or bird censuses. Julie emphasised the importance of spending time in nature and developing an awareness of, and gratitude for, the beautiful environment in which we live, work and play.
You can listen to Julie at roughly 2:06:35 into the programme.
To watch the other states go to https://australianoftheyear.org.au/
Which brings me to a call out for volunteers to help out with this Pollinator Citizen Science project.
This October 2023, citizen science surveys of insect pollinators will commence as part of the Canberra Urban Biodiversity Surveys (CUBS), an exciting new initiative from the ACT Government. Ecologists in the Office of Nature Conservation are calling upon enthusiastic volunteers to conduct simple 30-minute visual surveys of insect pollinators interacting with floral resources at designated monitoring sites. All you need is a camera to capture photos of these pollinators and a computer to upload the photos as a survey to Canberra Nature Map. Be sure to stay tuned to the Canberra Nature Map home page for upcoming details and an official call for volunteers. Your participation will not only contribute to important research on urban biodiversity but also enrich your connection with the fascinating world of insect pollinators!
Here is a map that shows all sites (and a 50m buffer around them for surveying purposes)
Surveys should take around 45 minutes and will need to be completed at least once a month, or more if people are keen. These are the sites that are currently remaining: Mulanggari NR, North Mitchell Grassland, Kenny, Crace Grasslands Offset, Franklin Grasslands South, Dunlop Grassland East, Yarralumla Grassland West, Commonwealth Park, Fadden Pines,Tuggeranong Hill NR, Jerrabomberra East Offset
Come and learn about our beautiful pollinators, what you can plant to support their health and other and ways to BEE Freindly!
Australian Pollinator Week acknowledges our important and unique insect pollinators during our southern spring (November). It is a designated week when communities, businesses and organisations can come together to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators and support their needs.
Through group activities, community members can learn and laugh together as they help to support our pollinators. By engaging communities in schools, retirement villages, art groups, gardening clubs, community gardens, local council areas, Landcare groups and neighbourhoods we can increase awareness and act on our increased knowledge.
This workshop will focus on the importance of our native bees and pollinators and show you the ideal way to host them in your yard, from what to plant to attract them to how to provide them with their perfect habitat.
Learn how to build and take home your own bee hotel, along with learning all about the different types of native bees who will visit you.
With assistance from the ACT Government under the ACT Community Zero Emissions Grants Program.
With a range of different events including guided wildflower and bird walks, froggy fun nights, photography and nature journaling workshops, there’s something for everyone. Designed as an umbrella events festival (similar to the Heritage Festival), the Festival of Nature allows for a range of Landcare and other volunteer groups and environmental organisations to offer a calendar of diverse events, centrally supported and promoted by Landcare ACT. The festival will run throughout the Spring of 2023.
“The Canberra community are invited to have YourSay on the Draft Canberra Region Local Food Strategy (formerly known as the Capital Food and Fibre Strategy) by completing the online survey linked to the heading.
Survey:The YourSay survey is open now and closes 11.59pm Friday 3 November 2023 (extended from the original closing date of 20 October). Before completing the survey at the bottom of this page, read the Draft Canberra Region Local Food Strategy “
We’ve a growing number of events to share our message and we would love more volunteers to help us out. Training on the job provided. It’s a wonderful way to meet our community and share our message and resources to empower people to take action for bees and pollinators. Please contact us through our website or reply to this email.
We hope that you will make time to share your joy of being in nature with children. Please invite them to go bee spotting or join in the feasts of opportunities in the Festival of Nature this Spring! We’d love to hear what you have experienced!
Julie, Lynne, Vicki, John, Zara, Matt, Didi, Mark,: the ACT for Bees and Other Pollinators team.
We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land which we live and work on, the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. This is and always will be Aboriginal Land – Please join us to Pay The Rent.
We recognise the impact of climate change and increasing urbanisation on biodiversity. It is now even more important for us to plant and maintain our urban gardens and parklands to protect our bees, butterflies, birds and local wildlife. Go to actforbees.org for more information.