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Richmond wins national award for pollinator program

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 11:16 PDT, Thu May 19, 2022

Richmond’s City-wide Pollinator Program has received national recognition from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA).  

The city was presented with the 2022 CAMA Environmental Leadership and Sustainability Award, in the over 100,000 population category, during a virtual ceremony earlier this week.

“Enhancing the city’s natural environment not only enriches the health and livability of our communities, it provides access to nature within Richmond’s urban neighbourhoods and supports our vibrant agricultural sector,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “The response to council’s commitment to the pollinator program has been overwhelmingly positive, and we will continue to find new and innovative ways to protect and foster pollinator conservation throughout the city.”

Pollinators are paramount for a stable and thriving natural environment, which is known to improve the physical and mental health of residents. However, there is growing evidence that pollinator species, such as bees and butterflies, are in decline globally due to the pressures of urban development.

As a result, Richmond has taken a proactive approach to natural area management, conservation, and protection. Initiatives throughout the city have found creative ways to engage residents and businesses into the action of protecting pollinators and their habitat.

Since 2015, Richmond has designed and implemented over 10 pollinator-specific programs; has engaged over 1,800 residents through free, interactive community workshops and planting initiatives; and has dedicated approximately 22,700 square metres of land to enhance pollinator habitat and increase community awareness.

“CAMA is pleased to recognize Richmond for the municipal excellence demonstrated by their City-wide Pollinator Program,” said Jack Benzaquen, CAMA president, CAMA representative for Quebec and city manager for the City of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, QC. “Their efforts to conserve pollinators and develop and protect their habitat set an example of how a land manager can be a leader through conscientious community programming and meaningful community engagement. There is much that other municipalities can learn.”

Richmond has a long history of promoting pollinator conservation in the community and actively supporting its local agricultural sector. The city’s Enhanced Pesticide Management Program was adopted in 2009, reducing the exposure of unnecessary pesticides and restricted their cosmetic use.

Pollinator protection and conservation is a key element of larger scale environmental management. City staff utilize novel methods of data collection and communication. The city also takes advantage of existing platforms to engage the community and collect data.

Pollinator enhancement has been integrated into the city’s public works delivery, with many projects utilizing pollinator friendly plantings along roadways and dikes, in parks, and at city facility horticulture installations.

There were 35 submissions from across the country for this year’s awards. To find out more about Richmond’s award, as well as details on the other 2022 winners, visit camacam.ca/awards and look for the award recipients link.

About CAMA’S Environmental Leadership and Sustainability Award:

The Environmental Leadership and Sustainability Award recognizes the dedication to environmental and sustainability excellence in projects that meet the needs of the present without compromising the future. This may include stand-out projects or initiatives or apply to the improvement of corporate processes that demonstrate real benefits to the environment. Sustainability may refer to both environmental considerations and wider sustainability impacts on people, resources, and communities. 

About CAMA:

The Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators is a national non-profit association open to all chief administrative officers, city managers, and any person employed in a senior management position that reports directly to the chief administrative officer. CAMA has a membership of approximately 650 city managers, chief administrative officers, and senior appointed officials from all parts of Canada.

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