On April 8, 2015, Southern Oregon University and Bee City USA will announce the launch of the national Bee Campus USA program, designed to marshal the strengths of college campuses for the benefit of pollinators. The University collaborated with Bee City USA on developing the guidelines for certification after being inspired by two of the early adopters of Bee City USA—SOU’s hometown of Ashland, and neighboring Talent.
College students, faculty, administrators, and staff have long been among the nation's most stalwart champions for sustainable environmental practices. In embracing the recommendations of the University's Sustainability Council, President Roy Saigo said, “We are very proud to become the first certified Bee Campus USA in the nation. After careful review, our campus leadership agreed that fulfilling the commitments of the program aligned perfectly with and expanded upon initiatives to sustain pollinators that were already underway. This program will help the University, our students, and our community to be better environmental stewards."
To be certified, institutions must commit to developing habitat policies, teaching classes about pollinator-related topics, posting informative signage, encouraging service learning to sustain pollinators, and holding campus events. Like Bee City USA communities, each certified campus must reapply each year and report on accomplishments from the previous year.
Read the full press release here.
Bee City USA feels very fortunate to have found such an outstanding partner in pollinator protection.” Director Phyllis Stiles said, “Southern Oregon University has already begun modeling many of the practices Bee City USA wants to see become a national movement. A student group maintains a pollinator-friendly garden, the campus includes herbicide-free wildlife areas, and the Bee Campus USA Subcommittee of the Sustainability Council began meeting last year. The University’s landscaping services department has established two new native pollinator friendly beds. They have even identified plant suppliers who don't use neonicotinoid pesticides."
Other institutions of higher education are invited to explore completing the application process outlined here. (Application in Word).
Header photo by: Nancy Lee Adamson
These are the opinions and events of interest to the Bee City USA coordinator and Xerces Society.