Hendersonville Farmers Market event celebrates pollinators and Bee Mural project, Sept. 12

Press release from Bee City USA Hendersonville:

Hendersonville Farmers Market on Maple Street at the Historic Train Depot is celebrating Pollinator Day on Saturday, September 12, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.  The Hendersonville Bee City USA booth will distribute free packets of pollinator-friendly seeds (while supplies last) and volunteers will provide tips for planting gardens that are healthy habitats for bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators. Proceeds from sales at the Bee City USA booth will benefit the “Bring the Hive Alive” initiative to paint a bee mural on the exterior wall of Hands On! Children’s Museum in downtown Hendersonville.

The Farmers Market on Maple Street features more than 30 vendors from local small farms and producers, and on September 12 many will have special treats to help celebrate pollinators (bees and other insects that visit flowering plants and help them reproduce). Everyone agrees that without the assistance of hard-working pollinators, our food supply and the beauty of the plant world would suffer. At the Bee City USA booth, volunteers will answer questions, while kids will be able to make a pair of bee, butterfly, or other pollinator antennae.  A market scavenger hunt will challenge youngsters to find as many foods produced with the help of pollinators as they can. Prizes will be awarded to all scavenger hunters.

Youngsters can also pick up a butterfly art pack which shows how to decorate a paper monarch at home and then send an electronic copy of that butterfly on an amazing journey as part of the international Symbolic Migration project.  This exciting project is in partnership with Hola Community Arts and Hands On! Children’s Museum. In addition, pollinator-attracting plants, including four “flavors” of milkweed plants (which are hosts for monarch butterflies), local honey, eco-friendly gear, and other items will be available.

Where Will The Bee Mural Be?
A larger-than-life bee mural will be painted on the exterior walls at Hands On! Children’s Museum building, facing Azalea parking lot in downtown Hendersonville (along Third Ave. between Main St. and King St.), starting in mid-October.  The project is expected to take four to five weeks to finish.  The children’s museum will use this initiative to extend its mission of inspiring creativity and wonder through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) to the entire community.  The mural adds to the art appeal of downtown’s ArtScape banners, colorful bears, and the large handsome mosaic nature scene … all of which make downtown Hendersonville a family-friendly arts destination.  It also gives a significant nod to our community’s agricultural businesses, acknowledging that honey bees and other pollinators are important to our economy and heritage.  The project is a partnership of Bee City USA Hendersonville, Hands On! Children’s Museum, local businesses, and residents.

Who Will Paint The Mural?
Artist Matthew Willey, with a 25-year career of painting murals, has been hired to paint the Bee Mural. He founded “The Good of the Hive” as a personal commitment to hand-paint 50,000 honey bees in murals around the world.  Through art and imagination, his work inspires curiosity and awareness about the importance of honey bees and other pollinators while celebrating the power in human connection.  During the weeks it will take to paint the mural this fall, Willey purposefully involves viewers, thus becoming a pollinator educator as well as a painter.

Community Support Encouraged  
Hands On! Children’s Museum is hosting an online crowd-funding campaign for the Bee Mural Project with “Bring the Hive Alive” rewards donated by local organizations and businesses.  Rewards (to be sent by mail) for contributions of $25 and up include a honey bee window cling, The Good of the Hive sticker, BeeKind sticker, jar of local honey, packet of pollinator-friendly seeds, and coupons from B.B. Barns The Garden Company, Raymond’s Garden Center, and Spriggly’s Beescaping. Visit www.handsonwnc.org/hive 

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