Winter Musings: An Open Letter from Phyllis Stiles, Bee City USA Director


As I huddle in my house in Asheville, NC, on a very cold, snowy winter day, the promise of Spring makes me smile with anticipation of 100 shades of green; flowers of every size, shape and color; and bees and butterflies flitting around them with long tongues outstretched to drink in their sweet nectar.

Then I remember that Earth Day is April 22 and Arbor Day is generally the last Friday in April (April 29, 2017) or whenever conditions are ideal for tree planting in your area.

It’s hard to imagine a better way to celebrate either Arbor Day or Earth Day than by gathering people together for a screening of the inspiring and affordable documentary Hometown Habitats: Stories of Bringing Nature Home. The film has a companion book and screening and discussion guides. To see if a screening is already planned for your area, look here.

This exquisite conversation with Americans of all ages, socioeconomic conditions, educational levels, and political persuasions, showcases how they (people just like you and me) are creating outstanding habitat opportunities for pollinators, birds and other critters everywhere, from New York City to Miami Beach to Denver.

If you want to start the conversation in your community, I urge you to gather your friends and neighbors, including landscapers, land trusts, Sierra Club chapters, plant nurseries, Master Gardeners, native plant societies, Audubon Societies, Parks & Recreation Staff, etc.–anybody remotely interested in landscaping–to watch this documentary and begin brainstorming ways to bring nature home.

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