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Williamstown kids join Bee City Committee buzz

WILLIAMSTOWN – Williamstown’s Bee City USA committee teamed up with Williamstown and Waverly elementary fourth grade students to educate children about the importance of saving pollinators.

According to Sharon Dye, project coordinator with Williamstown Bee City USA, 16 children were able to take part in planting their own a pollinator gardens this year.

The committee hopes to expand that number once school is back in session and a Bee City Committee representative is able to meet with the students one on one and tell them more about pollinators.

The idea for the children’s pollinator gardens came after Marty Seufer, a Williamstown council member and president of the Bee City Committee, had a conversation with Tom Fenton, a Williamstown resident and Bee City associate, about wanting to get more pollinator-related activities for kids.

According to Fenton, volunteers from the community then came together to help make bee kits and garden signs for each child. The kids included seed packets, growing instructions and a $15 gift card to Thompson’s Landscaping.

According to Dye, some of the kids have made raised beds for their garden, while others had planted their gardens into the ground at their homes.

Wade Garst, 9, a student with Williamstown Elementary said he has had some trouble with hungry rabbits, but after replanting his garden, he can really see it starting to flourish.

“Some kids are afraid of bees, but they are a big part of our fruits and vegetables producing,” said Garst.

Garst said because of the bee’s ability to help produce food, he planted his pollinator garden close to his vegetable garden.

Garst’s little brother Henry Garst has also been helping with the garden.

“We as a committee had to shift gears with what we could accomplish this year, because of the shut down and social distancing,” said Seufer. “With school being taught from home during the COVID-19 outbreak, we were really glad to be able to work with the elementary schools to help educate the youth and give parents an activity they could involve the whole family in.”

For those at home who would like to make a pollinator garden with their families, a list of plants that encourage pollination and can be added to a home garden is available at williamstownwv.org.

“We also have a listing of vendors at the River City Farmers Market in Marietta who have committed to having some of these flowers available for purchase this year,” said Seufer.

Seufer recommends that those who wish to plant a garden to help pollinators like bees should choose plants that bloom both late and early.

“In the spring the dandelions are among the first food sources for the bees, but they need food sources year around, so flowers that bloom in the fall such as Black Eyed Susans are nice to plant as well,” he said.

Madeline Scarborough can be reached at mscarborough@newsandsentinel.com

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