EUGENE, Ore. -- Eugene, Beyond Toxics and the University of Oregon Bee Friendly committee held the first annual Bee City Celebration Sunday.
They held educational tours to show off bees in their natural habitats as well as man-made hives that are meant to strengthen the bee population in Eugene.
Bear Heindel is the president of the university group and he said this was an event that aimed to raise awareness as well as action.
"This event is to help raise awareness to the colony collapse and to raise awareness that bees are here and they're part of who we are," said Heindel.
The day finished with a festival at Alton Baker Park with community vendors, educational groups, and a ribbon cutting ceremony with Mayor Lucy Vinis.
The city passed a resolution in July 2018 officially making it a"Bee City." This means they've made a commitment at the legislative level -- to pledge to move forward with protecting bee habitats both in the city's landscape and their outreach to the community.
Vinis said the city of Eugene is blazing the trail when it comes to respecting and working to preserve out very precious ecosystems -- starting, but not ending with the bees.
She said for 30 years the city has made efforts to use pesticides as a last resort to try to preserve the bee population and this resolution just holds the city accountable.
"We pride ourselves on our public lands and how we take care of our public property and how we protect our habitat," said Vinis. "It's one of our central core values as a community is sort of living respectfully in our landscape."
Heindel says the message of how crucial bees are to out quality of life needs to be made clear now more than ever
"We have to not be afraid of them," he continued. "We have to understand that if we don't have them we're not going to be able to sustain life as we know it."
This was the first year Eugene held a Bee City celebration, but both Heindel and Vinis said they hope it is the first of many.
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