February 1, 2023
Contact: Eli Bloch, Assistant Planner
Contact email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
EASTHAMPTON & CONWAY SCHOOL PARTNER TO CREATE POLLINATOR ACTION PLAN
The project centers around creating a vision for increasing pollinator habitat on both public and private lands in Easthampton.
EASTHAMPTON, MA - Graduate students from the Conway School of Ecological Landscape Design and Planning will be conducting interactive community engagement to begin developing a plan for how Easthampton can; educate and support residents to implement pollinator friendly landscaping practices, alter City landscaping practices to support pollinator habitat, and create pollinator gardens on City land. They will be at Winterfest next Saturday, February 11th in the Keystone mill building from 9:30-3:00, and outside Easthampton City Hall from 11:00-2:00. They are also collecting feedback via an online survey (link provided below).
The project will provide recommendations for actions the City could take as part of a potential Xerxes Society “Bee City” certification being proposed by City Councilor Owen Zaret.
“Supporting pollinator populations through dedicated native plant practices is critical to our ecological biodiversity and sustainability in Easthampton and beyond. We are fortunate to be partnering with the Conway School on this project which provides exceptional input into our current proposal to certify Easthampton as a Xerxes Society Bee city. This will not only establish sustainable practices for the city as a municipality but empower and educate residents to be environmentally responsible with minimal effort and investment. I hope this creates some buzz around town”, said City Councilor Owen Zaret.
The pollinator plan will also inform and support the City's larger effort to create a Climate Action Plan and help respond to the City's Council's 2021 Climate Emergency Resolution.
"Over the next year, the Climate Action Plan will allow the City to assess a wide range of projects that will help the City reduce its carbon footprint, establish a prioritized list of actions, and help residents and businesses make Easthampton more resilient in the face of Climate change", said Mayor Nicole LaChapelle.
The Conway students will seek input from residents about what actions residents are taking to support pollinators, how the City can support residents to start pollinator gardens, where residents would like to see new pollinator gardens on City land, and what challenges the City could face with trying to increase pollinator habitat. The Conway school project began in early January 2023 and will finish in late March of 2023.
What: Pollinator Plan Community Engagement
Who: Graduate students at the Conway School are working with the Easthampton Planning Department and a steering Committee consisting of Assistant Planner Eli Bloch, Councilor Owen Zaret, and residents Bex Zumbruski and Mari Harrison.
Winterfest - Saturday, February 11, 2023, from 9:00 – 3:00 at the Keystone building and simultaneously 11:00-2:00 outside City Hall.
Community Meeting – Evening of Thursday, March 2nd exact time and location TBD.
For more information and updates about the project please go the Easthampton Planning Department “current projects” page: https://easthamptonma.gov/703/Pollinator-Action-Plan
To provide input on the plan please fill out this short survey https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSckUxLtwGDPkORUUiGV5e6rLBDyFY6c96fGEsHAP7Bax85Tsg/viewform