Rapid City officials are looking to create more bee-friendly habitat throughout the city's parks to promote the importance of pollinators to the environment.
In support of that mission, the city council is expected to take action Tuesday on a resolution designating Rapid City as a Bee City USA affiliate.
"With the Bee City USA designation, we're looking to formalize what we've already been doing and trying to practice the last few years," Rapid City Parks Division Manager Scott Anderson said. "With that designation, there are some stipulations for what we need to do on a per-year basis, like coming up with a policy for different management of pests and different ways to go about it."
According to Bee City USA's website, its mission is to galvanize communities to sustain pollinators, responsible for the reproduction of almost 90% of the world's flowering plant species, by providing them with healthy habitat, rich in a variety of plants and nearly free of pesticides.
Anderson said the city is looking to expand pollinator-friendly habitats across city-owned properties.
"We already have one that we started last spring on a section of property on the north side of Omaha Street and Mountain View intersection, on the western edge of Founders Park," he said. "It was a newly roughed-up area anyway, so we thought it would be a good opportunity to plant some wildflowers and a pollinator patch there."
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Anderson said the city is also looking at revising policies on pesticide usage.
"Over the last three or four years, we have worked with local beekeepers about when we would be in their area for mosquito-control operations," he said. "That gives them a chance to protect their hives and property so that if there is any drift, hopefully it will not be invasive to their hives. Looking to the future, it would be great to get away from some of that pesticide use and try to promote other management practices instead of using pesticides."