Somerville Pollinator Action Plan

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
A monarch caterpillar crawls along a blooming milkweed leaf

Due to habitat loss and pesticide use, pollinator populations are declining in New England and worldwide. In response, Mayor Ballantyne’s Office and the Division of Public Space and Urban Forestry (PSUF) are developing a Somerville Pollinator Action Plan (SPAP) to identify spatial and behavioral interventions that create the best habitat for pollinators and wildlife in the city.

The Somerville Pollinator Action Plan will:

  • Describe Somerville-specific and regional pollinator species.
  • Explore pollinator habitat within the city’s network of urban open spaces.
  • Educate public servants and city residents on the interdependence of pollinators, habitat, and resilient urban life.
  • Propose ways that public servants and residents can foster Somerville-appropriate pollinator habitat.

The mayor has appointed a Somerville Pollinator Action Plan Advisory Committee to lead this effort. The committee is comprised of youth, community members and advocates, inter-departmental City staff, and members of relevant Somerville non-profit groups. They will set out goals for the planning process, engage the public, and hire a consultant to write the Plan. Through harnessing the expertise and passion of our citizenry and a qualified consultant, we will produce a document to guide how we care for and foster pollinator habitat to support regional populations and our own urban lives.

Due to habitat loss and pesticide use, pollinator populations are declining in New England and worldwide. In response, Mayor Ballantyne’s Office and the Division of Public Space and Urban Forestry (PSUF) are developing a Somerville Pollinator Action Plan (SPAP) to identify spatial and behavioral interventions that create the best habitat for pollinators and wildlife in the city.

The Somerville Pollinator Action Plan will:

  • Describe Somerville-specific and regional pollinator species.
  • Explore pollinator habitat within the city’s network of urban open spaces.
  • Educate public servants and city residents on the interdependence of pollinators, habitat, and resilient urban life.
  • Propose ways that public servants and residents can foster Somerville-appropriate pollinator habitat.

The mayor has appointed a Somerville Pollinator Action Plan Advisory Committee to lead this effort. The committee is comprised of youth, community members and advocates, inter-departmental City staff, and members of relevant Somerville non-profit groups. They will set out goals for the planning process, engage the public, and hire a consultant to write the Plan. Through harnessing the expertise and passion of our citizenry and a qualified consultant, we will produce a document to guide how we care for and foster pollinator habitat to support regional populations and our own urban lives.

  • Next Meeting - February 12, 4pm

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    This next meeting is going to be a good one!

    The team from Offshoots, Inc, will be in attendance presenting on the start of the "Analysis" phase. They have been gathering and analyzing pollinator observation data to draw conclusions about what species are in Somerville, who we should target with pollinator designs, and what data is missing. This is their first time presenting their work to the committee, so it will be a chance for everyone to get to know each while learning a lot.

    Come join us!

    Monday, February 12th, 4-5:30pm
    https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87997330736


  • Next Meeting - Jan 8th at 4pm

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Hello again! We are back!

    While the team at Offshoots gets going on their work, the SPAP Advisory Committee will be reviewing their progress, providing guidance along the way, and developing a plan for their own role as advocates of this work in our community. This is our first meeting back after completing the hiring process and it will be focused on external expert consultants and mobilizing our networks.

    Come join us if you'd like to see where we are at! As always, we reserve time for public comment at the end, around 5:15pm, and we look forward to meeting you.


    Zoom link:

    https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87997330736

    Meeting ID: 879 9733 0736


  • Consultant hired & work begins

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Hello all,

    Since our last post, City staff guided the SPAP Advisory Committee through the process of selecting an applicant from the pool of qualified firms who responded to our "Request for Proposals." They had multiple internal discussions of their impressions and concerns, interviewed candidates, and voted on a final selection. After much deliberation, they selected Offshoots, Inc.! The team at Offshoots is now developing a project schedule, gathering data, research, and getting reading to dig into the "analysis" portion of the project. They'll be looking at data collected by community members over the past few years to understand pollinator populations/species in this area and will work to identify existing and potential pollinator habitat across Somerville.

    We are excited to have them on board and look forward to seeing their work over the next few months.

    Our next committee meeting will be January 8th from 4-5:30pm. We'll post more information on this page when it is available.

    Stay tuned and thanks for following along!


  • Our RFP is live!

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    The Request for Proposal document is live! This document describes the Pollinator Action Plan project and invites interested consultants to apply. If you are curious, you can find it under "Open Bids" on our Procurement website: https://www.somervillema.gov/departments/finance/procurement-and-contracting-services

    Any interested applicants must submit a proposal by September 13th. Then committee members will read each proposal carefully, evaluate them based on a set of pre-determined criteria, and decide which candidate to recommend to Mayor Ballantyne.

    I will update this page when we know more. In the meantime, please feel free to leave questions or comments here. Or you can subscribe to receive updates via email. Thanks for your interest and please stay involved! We are glad to have you here.

  • Wondering what we're up to?

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Hi all,

    If you're wondering why there has been no update for a few weeks, it's because we have reached the end of Phase 01! The committee developed a "Scope of Services" and City of Somerville staff are working hard behind the scenes to finalize the documents and publish the "Request for Proposals." Once it is live, consultant teams can apply! This is an exciting moment and we are all looking forward to seeing who is interested in doing this work.

    More details to come, but for now, we wait. :)

  • Next Meeting - In Person, July 24th, 4:15-5:30pm

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Hello to all who have been following the work of the Pollinator Action Plan Advisory Committee!

    July 24th will be the last meeting of Phase 01 and we will hold it IN PERSON at the Somerville Community Growing Center from 4:15-5:30pm. Some of us have never met except through Zoom, so this will be a great chance to have more casual conversations and to celebrate the work done up to this point. If you would like to join us there, please do! We'll spend some time going over next steps for the committee members, how the consultant hiring process will go, learning about the Growing Center, and getting to know each other. If you can't attend, don't worry! You can always share a thought or a question with us in the "Questions/Comments" tab here on this SomerVoice page.

    In Phase 01, the committee met twice a month and spent their time:

    • Learning about existing pollinator action plans;
    • Learning about City policies and processes for hiring consultants;
    • Learning about City processes and challenges for planting and maintaining habitat;
    • Discussing the overarching goals of the Somerville Pollinator Action Plan;
    • Developing the job description ("scope of work") for the consultant team who will write the Plan.

    There were some great conversations, some good points raised, and a culture of collaboration fostered among the committee members.

    Phase 02 will begin at the end of September (exact dates TBD) and the committee will shift to meeting once a month. They will make a recommendation to Mayor Katjana Ballantyne about which consultant team to hire and then will support them in developing the plan itself. Our committee members include scientists who conduct research on pollinators, community advocates with networks of passionate gardeners, City staff, among others. Together, they will help the consultant team gather the data they need, reach Somerville community members, and they will provide comments and feedback to the team as they develop proposals.

    There is a lot to look forward to! We hope you will stay in touch and keep checking back for more information about opportunities to get involved during Phase 02. If you subscribe to "Stay Informed" on this SomerVoice page, we will email you when we pin down dates for committee meetings and public engagement events. Or when in doubt, you can contact us directly at spap@somervillema.gov.

    Hope to see you soon!


  • Next Meeting - July 10, 4-5:15pm

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Phase 01 of the committee's work is nearly complete! They have been working hard to define the consultant job description, or the "Scope of Work." This job description will be made public in the coming weeks and we'll be looking for qualified applicants who would like to develop the Pollinator Action Plan. The next phase of work will begin in the fall once we have received those applications. But to get there, they need to finish the "Scope of Work" first.

    At the next meeting, you can expect them to spend some time in breakout rooms, discussing the draft document, and then we'll gather together to review their comments and their proposed edits. Please log on and listen in. We'd love to see you there.

    As a reminder: We always welcome your feedback! Five minutes will be set aside at the end of the meeting for comment and you are always welcome to leave questions/ideas on this page. Thank you for being here!

  • Next Meeting - June 26, 4-5:15pm

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Stay tuned for our next meeting on Monday, June 26th from 4-5:15pm!

    The committee continues their work in small teams to refine the priorities and goals for the Pollinator Action Plan consultant team. Much of the session will take place in breakout groups to give them time to discuss, brainstorm, and build their arguments. Then they will present their ideas to each other. Join us!


    Note that there is a new Zoom link for the next three meetings: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87467480669?pwd=UEc5eTAzRjRzZWVUc0JQbG1wMHZoQT09

    ID: 874 6748 0669
    Passcode: 398990
    One tap mobile
    +13052241968,,87467480669# US
    +13092053325,,87467480669# US

    As a reminder: We always welcome your feedback! Five minutes will be set aside at the end of the meeting for comment and you are always welcome to leave questions/ideas on this page.

  • Next Meeting - June 5, 4-5:15pm

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Hello again!

    Our next meeting is on Monday, June 5th from 4-5:15pm and you are invited to join us. The committee members continue to work through big questions about the goals of the Pollinator Action Plan. These conversations and decisions are key to framing how we eventually hire someone to write the Plan. At the next meeting, the committee members will spend most of their time in breakout rooms to move toward decisions about these key questions. If you'd like to see this process, log on and listen in.


    We always welcome your feedback! Five minutes will be set aside at the end of the meeting for comment and you are always welcome to leave questions/ideas on this page.


    The meeting link is always posted under the tab "Zoom Meeting Link". You can find us next Monday at the following meeting link:

    Meeting Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/88169073083?pwd=YlR2R2hwRnAydWVmTHA1YnBQeFN4QT09
    ID: 881 6907 3083
    Passcode: 172997
    One tap mobile
    +13052241968,,88169073083# US
    +13092053325,,88169073083# US

  • Next Meeting - May 22, 4-5:15pm

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Greetings!

    Thanks for following our work. We're happy to you're here.

    Our next meeting will be on Monday, May 22 from 4-5:15pm. We'll be talking through the #1 task of the committee's first phase of work: writing a "scope of work." When we begin to look for a consultant team to develop the Pollinator Action Plan, interested firms will refer to this document to understand the project goals and process. This document also helps us to define the most important elements of the Plan, the impact we want it to have, and it helps us to envision what makes a successful project. Some questions we'll discuss:

    • What are the major goals of the Pollinator Action Plan?
    • What does the consultant need to consider while developing the Plan?
    • What materials do we need the consultant to develop?
    • How do we measure the success of this Plan?
    • ...among others

    If you'd like to hear the committee talk through these ideas, come join us on Monday. Everyone is welcome to listen in and we'll take public comment at the end. If you can't attend but you'd like to leave us feedback or ask a question, please feel free to do so in the Questions/Comments tab.

    Hope to see you there!

Page last updated: 15 Feb 2024, 04:43 PM