Phyllis Stiles hosts talk at Henderson County Library, Feb. 24

Press release from Hendersonville Tree Board: 

It may seem too good to be true but planting trees in urban areas (and, well, anywhere) helps support lots of pollinator species and other wildlife. Moreover, trees help mitigate climate change, a major contributor to pollinator species decline. Learn more about the types of trees to plant as landscaping or as an addition to a private natural preserve at a program by Phyllis Stiles, founder of the Bee City USA program, on Monday, February 24, at 6 p.m. at Henderson County Library auditorium on Washington Street in downtown Hendersonville.  The program, sponsored by Hendersonville Tree Board, is open to the public at no charge.

Using Powerpoint visuals, Stiles will explain how every part of native trees supports pollinators throughout the year: blossoms provide abundant pollen and nectar, leaves host butterfly and moth larvae, bark provides safe spaces for overwintering, snags provide nesting sites, and leaf mulch provides overwintering habitat. Farmers and those whose business depends on successful pollinators as well as homeowners interested in sustainable landscaping may find the program especially informative.

Phyllis Stiles is founder and director emeritus of Bee City USA and Bee Campus USA, nationwide programs which became initiatives of the Xerces Society in 2018. Hendersonville fulfilled criteria in 2015 to become a Bee City USA, the seventh city in the nation to do so. To date, nearly 200 cities and campuses (including Blue Ridge Community College) in 41 states have joined the network.  In 2015, the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign named Stiles Pollinator Advocate of the Year for the United States.

An Asheville resident since the 1970s, Stiles has spent her career at universities and non-profit organizations serving communities from West Africa to the Mississippi Delta in fields ranging from natural resource and farmland protection to civic leadership development. Stiles was campaign director for Blue Ridge Forever’s 50,000-acre land protection campaign which successfully concluded in 2010. When she’s not learning about pollinators and plants, she enjoys hiking, trying to speak French and playing her upright bass.

“While our speaker is widely traveled and of some renown as founder of the Bee City movement,” said Mac Brackett, chair of Hendersonville Tree Board, “she is also very good at informing about the ground-level ways we can all help pollinators, mitigate climate change, and beautify our landscape.  We are pleased to have her join us for this public program.”

Hendersonville Tree Board is commissioned by the City of Hendersonville to provide advice on the selection and care of trees and shrubs in public places.  The Tree Board also educates the public concerning the economic and aesthetic benefits of trees and shrubs for the community.  The Arbor Day Foundation has recognized Hendersonville as a Tree City USA for 26 years because of its high level of tree care. In 2018, Hendersonville was recognized by the NC Forest Service as Tree City of the Year.

To learn more about Hendersonville Tree Board and its projects, visit the webpage at  To learn more about Stiles and the Bee City USA program visit

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