Wolf Trap’s Sustainable Beekeeping Initiative Results in 200 Pounds of One-of-a-Kind Honey
Vienna, Virginia (August 17, 2015) – Rock stars aren’t the only ones creating buzz at Wolf Trap: Wolf Trap honey is making its debut, a sweet byproduct of Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts’ sustainable beekeeping program. With more than 200 pounds of honey produced this year, for the first time, Wolf Trap honey is being made available to the public in Wolf Trap’s onsite gift shop. Watch The Making of Wolf Trap Honey.
Wolf Trap’s beekeeping program started in 2011, when Wolf Trap Foundation’s Executive Chef, Chris Faessen, attended the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, where he learned about the White House’s own beekeeping initiatives. Already the keeper of Wolf Trap’s organic gardens, and knowing that bees are critical to a thriving ecosystem, Faessen was inspired to take action.
Within a year, Wolf Trap had its first hive; small quantities of honey flowed soon thereafter. Faessen learned to harvest the honey, and found creative ways to feature it in recipes for Wolf Trap events. Through self-study and by connecting with a network of beekeepers throughout the Washington, D.C.-area, Faessen scaled up the program and now trains others in sustainable beekeeping practices.
“I can already tell we’ve created something special here. In an era of dwindling resources, Wolf Trap has a responsibility to sustain its own ecosystem as much as possible,” says Faessen. “The number of individual beekeepers—whether neighbors, chefs, organizations with rooftops, or small farmers—is growing every day. I’m proud to add Wolf Trap to this meaningful network for change.”
Today, 14 hives and more than a million bees pollinate Wolf Trap’s organic gardens and forests, as well as gardens in surrounding communities. The 2015 harvest produced more than 200 pounds of the sweet stuff – more than any one chef could use. Faessen had the idea to package the honey and offer it to the public.
Eight-ounce jars of Wolf Trap honey are available in Wolf Trap’s gift shops. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit Wolf Trap Foundation and its programs, including its award-winning arts education programs and beekeeping and ‘go green’ initiatives.
“Wolf Trap’s sustainability efforts are a logical extension of our mission as America’s only national park for the performing arts,” says Arvind Manocha, president and CEO of Wolf Trap Foundation. “From a performance standpoint, Wolf Trap is committed to preserving an environment where the arts are at one with the natural world. From a community standpoint, Wolf Trap has the ability to shine a spotlight on issues beyond the stage. Chef Chris has done a superb job of leading by example, by using his skills and passions creatively to help Wolf Trap to make a difference in our community. Plus, Wolf Trap honey is delicious – grassy, floral, a little tangy.”
Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, produces and presents a full range of performance and education programs in the Greater Washington area, as well as nationally. Wolf Trap features three performance venues: the outdoor Filene Center and Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, both located at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, and The Barns at Wolf Trap, located down the road from the national park and adjacent to the Center for Education at Wolf Trap. The 7,028-seat Filene Center is operated in partnership with the National Park Service and annually showcases an extensive array of diverse artists, ranging from pop, country, folk, and blues to classical music, dance, and theatre, as well as multimedia presentations, from May through September. The Barns at Wolf Trap is operated by the Wolf Trap Foundation year round, and during the summer months is home to the Grammy-nominated Wolf Trap Opera, one of America’s outstanding resident ensemble programs for young opera singers. Wolf Trap’s education programs include the nationally acclaimed Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, a diverse array of arts education classes, grants, and a nationally recognized internship program.
High-resolution images and video footage are available upon request.
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