The Gold Park pollinator garden will be abuzz the morning of Saturday, Nov. 4, with the unveiling of a large bee hotel, a workshop to help people make their own bee habitats, information about native pollinators and arts programs, and fun crafts for kids.
The event starts at 10 a.m. with the unveiling of the bee hotel, which will be located adjacent to the Gold Park pollinator garden along the Riverwalk greenway. The functional art piece was commissioned through a partnership with the Orange County Arts Commission, Hillsborough Tourism Development Authority and Town of Hillsborough.
Wood carver and Orange County resident David Hinkle was selected to carve and build the bee hotel, which provides small nooks just right for native pollinators to raise their young. Unlike honey bees, many native species of bees live in solitary dwellings. Although solitary, many native bees do not mind living in close proximity to other pollinators.
“This project is unique in that it brings together public art and environmental stewardship,” said Hillsborough Public Space Manager Stephanie Trueblood. “The bee hotel will provide an important habitat for native pollinators but will also showcase the beauty and craftsmanship of a local artist.”
Following the unveiling, Noah Mace, a West Hillsborough resident and contractor, will lead a free workshop for people to make their own small habitats for native bees with help from volunteers from the Hillsborough Arts Council, Hillsborough Garden Club and Hillsborough Tree Board. Makers can take their “bee houses” home or donate them to the town to be hung along Riverwalk. The workshops will take place until noon. Materials for the bee houses were donated by Mace and Cates Sawmill.
As part of Hillsborough’s Bee City USA designation, the town must provide educational opportunities to teach others about the importance of bees as pollinators. The Hillsborough Tree Board led the effort last year for the town to become the country’s 35th Bee City.
The pollinator garden is maintained by the Orange County Master Gardener Program, a program of the Orange County Center of the N.C. Cooperative Extension. It recently was expanded to include the bee hotel. Gold Park is located at 415 Dimmocks Mill Road, and the garden is located by the train trestle bridge.
For more information, contact Hillsborough’s public space manager by email or phone at 919-296-9481.