Bees could have a home at this site in the Ladd Arboretum where the windmill once stood.                       RoundTable photo

Two locations, both in parks in the City’s Seventh Ward along the North Shore Channel (the canal), could be available for residents to rent to raise bees. At the Sept. 7 Human Services Committee, Parks and Recreation Department Director Lawrence Hemingway told committee members City staff had narrowed the options of park locations from five – Harbert, James, Butler, Lovelace and the Ladd Arboretum – to two, Eggleston Park and the Ladd Arboretum. Both locations comply with the requirement that an apiary in a park be located 150 feet from any park improvements, such as playgrounds, picnic areas, structures, or pathways. Parks near the canal were considered because the bees would have a nearby water source.

The proposed Eggleston Park location is near the Edible Acres and west of the playground, and the proposed Ladd Arboretum site is where the windmill used to be.

Anyone wishing to establish an apiary in either location would have to sign a waiver indemnifying the City, bear construction and maintenance costs and the cost of restoring the park, should the beekeeping be discontinued.

The City is considering allowing apiaries in parks because certain provisions in the beekeeping ordinance may prohibit homeowners from keeping bees.

Alderman Eleanor Revelle, 7th Ward, said the Eggleston Park location, near the Edible Acres orchard, might entice that organization to consider beekeeping. She also asked, “Is the idea that we will keep this in mind, and not build any structure until someone comes up with a proposal?”

Mr. Hemingway said that was correct.

Alderman Mark Tendam, 6th Ward, said, “It makes sense to have apiaries in a common place rather than in backyards. I hope we can encourage people to do this. It would be a community benefit.”

Mary Gavin is the founder of the Evanston RoundTable. After 23 years as its publisher and manager, she helped transition the RoundTable to nonprofit status in 2021. She continues to write, edit, mentor...