NEW YORK, NY (October 12, 2018) – Randall’s Island Park Alliance, Inc., and the New York Bee Sanctuary have announced that Randall’s Island Park has been officially recognized as a BEE SAFE Pollinator Friendly site, the first park in New York City to receive such a prominent recognition. The announcement was made as Randall’s Island Harvest Festival that officially kicks off this weekend on the island. The annual festival celebrates the bounty of the earth and the completion of another fruitful season at the Randall’s Island Park Urban Farm.
One of every three bites of food eaten worldwide depends on pollinators, especially bees, for a successful harvest. To combat the further degradation of the world’s declining bee populations, the New York Bee Sanctuary launched BEE-SAFE, a nationwide initiative that encourages individuals, corporations and cities to create places where pollinators are safe and can find healthy food, water, and shelter.
The New York Bee Sanctuary BEE-SAFE Certification is a nationwide program that designates schools, community gardens, parks, public and private grounds, as well as cities and towns as bee-friendly environments. BEE-SAFE Certification promotes planting pollinator-safe flowers and plants, eliminating the use of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides and adopting safer IPM (Integrated Pest Management) practices. By joining efforts with the New York Bee Sanctuary, Randall’s Island Park Wildflower Meadows, which is 28,000 square feet, will make a major impact by promoting conservation of its unique ecosystem, providing food and shelter for diverse pollinators and other insects.
“We are proud to partner with Randall’s Island Park Alliance and recognize their commitment to this important cause,” says Guillaume Gauthereau, founder and executive director of New York Bee Sanctuary. “With the help support from Randall’s Island Park Alliance, we will be able to make a positive contribution to this adversity and bring back the bees and wild pollinators. The Randall’s Island Park Alliance will be taking a part in this massive program designed to conserve and increase pollinator-friendly natural environments full of beautiful wildflowers,” he adds. “The benefits are endless, from healthier and more abundant fruits and vegetables to a resilient ecosystem and a more beautiful environment—especially for the bees and wild pollinators.”
Founded in 2015 by CEO and serial entrepreneur Guillaume Gauthereau, New York Bee Sanctuary protects New York State’s and US honey bees and wild pollinators by setting aside a natural landscape rich in biodiversity. It provides educational opportunities for beekeepers and farmers with examples of bee-conscious practices, as well as workshops, and tours for students and other visitors. The sanctuary also develops research programs to better understand honey bees and pollinators by supporting research and science around honey bees and pollinators in New York State and in the US.
“It is an honor to work with Guillaume and his team as we recognize the important contributions that bees and wild pollinators make to our eco-system,” notes Phyllis Odessey, Director of Horticulture with Randall’s Island Park Alliance. “This certification serves to underscore our core mission of making the Island an innovative, forward-thinking and exciting destination. As a dedicated steward of Randall’s Island Park, this further supports our commitment to the environment and the overall well-being of all New Yorkers,” she adds.
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About New York Bee Sanctuary
New York Bee Sanctuary is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and a multifaceted initiative to CARE for honey bees and wild pollinators. We strive to CONSERVE the natural environment; ADVOCATE and create awareness about the many ways honeybees impact our daily lives; RESEARCH colony collapse and create a hub for bee science in New York State; and EDUCATE students and the public through onsite, offsite, and online programs and courses.
About Randall’s Island Park Alliance
About the Randall’s Island Park Alliance: The Randall’s Island Park Alliance (RIPA), founded in 1992, is a public-private partnership with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation that seeks to realize the unique potential of 480 waterfront parkland acres anchoring Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens. RIPA works with the City and local communities to provide an innovative and exciting destination through a wide range of sports venues, cultural events and environmental exploration. As the dedicated steward of Randall’s Island Park, the Alliance sustains, maintains, develops and programs the Park to support the wellbeing of all New Yorkers. The Park offers miles of waterfront pathways, almost 9 acres of wetlands, an urban far, a track and field stadium, a golf center, a 20-court tennis center and dozens of new playing fields, as well as the Harlem River Event Site.