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Your City At Work

New "Bee Hotel" Sculpture Supports Local Pollinators, Showcases Poetry

Eco-Art Installation Donated to City by Poetry Pollinators

If the tree-limb-turned-sculpture in the first photo looks at all familiar, that’s because it used to be part of a large old cottonwood tree at the Harvey Cornell Rose Park! In the fall of 2021, the Parks Division removed the tree because its poor health – the result of a severe fungal infection – meant it posed a safety hazard. After the removal, Parks worked to recycle and repurpose what was left of the tree, including distributing pieces of it to interested members of the community for reuse. Now, a 2000 lb. section has been transformed into a functional work of art: the Camino Escondido Bee Hotel. The local Poetry Pollinators initiative commissioned artist Peter Joseph to craft the hotel from the large section of cottonwood, and donated it to the City after it was complete.

Bee hotels are different from bee hives in that bee hives are home to community bees or bee colonies, but bee hotels are designed to attract solitary bees, who build individual nests for their larvae. This new hotel is both a welcoming haven for our solitary native bees to rest and repopulate as they work on pollinating native plants throughout the city, and a unique piece of creative art for the community to enjoy. It features a poem by Santa Fe's inaugural Poet Laureate Arthur Sze as well as educational information by native bee scientist Dr. Olivia Carril.

The project was led by Poetry Pollinators' poet-organizers Julie Chase-Daniel and Elizabeth Jacobson, and was supported by the Santa Fe Watershed Association (SFWA) and the City of Santa Fe Public Works Department. It is the first of what are hoped to be many Poetry Pollinators' installations that will combine the art of poetry with native bee habitats to "animate public spaces as ecological systems that support the flourishing of all species."

See the Bee Hotel for yourself along the Santa Fe River (near the junction of East Alameda and Camino Escondido)!


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