Guest blog by Mary Tinder, “Make Carlinville Beautiful”, and Co-Chair Bee City USA, Carlinville
Carlinville, Illinois is proud to have earned certification by the Xerces Society as the first Bee City USA affiliate in Illinois! We are a small midwestern town of 5,800 residents in south central Illinois. Our newly established Bee City USA Committee’s overarching goal is to become a “Mecca for Pollinators” by 2025, and we are well on our way. Our location on Old Route 66 brings visitors from around the world as they travel the Historical Mother Road from Chicago. “Make Carlinville Beautiful”, a small group of volunteers, plant and groom the newly established pollinator gardens planted in 2019–2020. Over six hundred native trees, shrubs, and perennials have been chosen and planted to entice the insects and birds in our region to stop by and stay awhile.
The Amtrak Pollinator Garden
The Amtrak pollinator garden is unique in that our city maintains the landscape for the train station. Mayor Demuzio and the Carlinville City Council were pleased that a small group of volunteers would take on the task of landscaping the station. We received their full support and trust in planning an attractive garden with plants donated by local gardeners and a memorial fund. It was this project that moved our interest in native plants and pollinators to advocacy. Soon, volunteers began investigating how to become the first Bee City USA affiliate in the State of Illinois, to complement our local Bee Campus USA affiliate, Blackburn University. Learn more about this garden and enjoy a before and after view in this video: https://youtu.be/_rcjE4etzk0.
The Carlinville High School and Middle School Garden
The second large garden was planted at the Carlinville High School and Middle School as a “laboratory for learning”. Students from 6th to 12th grades have easy access to the garden for science and horticulture study. A total of six pollinator pockets are now established on the campus shared by the two schools and are maintained by site stewards, who are mostly students. Watch this video for an in depth look at some of the plants we chose for this garden: https://youtu.be/quHGNdUQ9-M.
Granny Wilson’s Garden
Granny Wilson’s Garden is our third large demonstration garden in Carlinville. Planted in 2020, the 6’ x 100’ plot includes heirloom plants grown from seeds in a new local greenhouse. The site also contains eastern redbud, winterberry, snowberry, prairie rose, common milkweed, coneflowers, pussy willow, and over one hundred other blooming forbs that provide food for insects and birds well into snowfall. The vegetable garden, gracefully tucked in among the flowers has provided nearly seven hundred tomatoes and many helpings of green beans that we donate to the nearby food pantry.
Granny Wilson’s soil was hard packed clay, a border to a busy city street and blacktop parking lot. A curbed area was formed and the soil was dug out, removed, and replaced with compost and black dirt before being tilled. “Make Carlinville Beautiful” volunteers worked in natural nitrogen (sprinkles of grass clippings and a bit of dry cow manure) before the garden was planted. From this group of volunteers, the “girl power” team was born! A group of six local grandmothers handled most of the planting and mulching. Mulch was donated by a local tree trimming service, and in-kind donations were made by business owners. After the garden was established, site stewards were designated. Dana and John Yowell now care for the weeding, watering, and troubleshooting of this garden.
Click the link to hear from Mayor Demuzio and volunteers at our September 2nd Community Garden Tour and see the color and excitement in Granny Wilsons Garden: https://youtu.be/x1pmjZ9U6oI.
In addition to these areas we also have other pollinator gardens throughout town. All five Carlinville Plaza pollinator pockets and “Catalpa Row” are a partnership between Central Realty, the owner of the Carlinville Plaza, and “Make Carlinville Beautiful”, the volunteers who plant and care for new pollinator habitat within the city. You can now see colorful plantings near the local bakery, yellow finches flying from planters to the outdoor dining area, hummingbirds drinking from Cardinal plants, and families caring for the habitat.
Outreach & Successes
As volunteers, we educate about the need for new pollinator habitat and food sources for bees, butterflies, birds, beetles and yes, even bats through 1) social media including individual gardener’s Facebook posts and Carlinville Bee’s Facebook page, 2) the Carlinvillebees.org web site, 3) word of mouth, 4) letters to the editor, 5) presentations by Dr. John Marlin, Bee researcher at the University of Illinois, and 6) informal discussions including the original research by Dr. Charles Robertson, a Carlinville native, and author of numerous publications about local bees from 1886–1931. This sharing of information via technology and small groups is the best way to meet our goals and share our resources during COVID 19.
Our future plans for workshops or mini educational series include more tours in the demonstration gardens and partnering with the Macoupin County Master Gardeners, Rotary Interact Youth Club, Trees Forever, Blackburn College, and Tree City USA, Carlinville.
Funding & Awards
Although Carlinville has been an affiliate of Bee City USA for less than one year, we are proud of our ability to provide habitat and food for pollinators on public properties in our small town. Our early commitment to continue the work brought the realization that funding would soon become an issue. Researching grant opportunities began immediately and with a full green light from the Mayor and City Council, we applied for and received funding for pollinator habitat and conservation from Trees Forever and the Illinois Native Plant Society. The scope of our projects was recognized locally and regionally and soon led to honors and awards!
In 2019, “Make Carlinville Beautiful” volunteers received the “Outstanding Organization” award from the Carlinville Chamber of Commerce. In August 2020, our community received the “Outstanding Volunteer Award” from Trees Forever. Members of Bee City USA, Carlinville and Tree City USA, Carlinville received the award on behalf of all community volunteers. The honors recognized the forty trees planted in local parks and six hundred other native trees, shrubs, and perennials that were planted on public properties within the city.
Taking Care: Site Stewards
In 2020, the scope of the projects grew considerably and it was beginning to be too much for Randy and Mary Tinder, who organized the “Make Carlinville Beautiful” volunteers, to haul water from home and handle the weeding at the various sites. The concept of “site stewards” was introduced to the City Council and was well received. Individuals and families were recruited by word of mouth and social media to help with weeding and watering. Today “Make Carlinville Beautiful” pollinator pockets, demonstration gardens, and new trees in our parks are cared for by local individuals and families. Our city square now contains 19 planters, each fully adorned with one or more native perennials that attract bees and other pollinating insects. The volunteers weed, water, and troubleshoot from April through October of each year. If problems arise, consultations with Master Gardeners are available.
It Takes More Than a Village
Youth from the Carlinville Middle School and High School have assumed site steward responsibilities at the schools’ shared campus. Other sites are cared for by 4-H’ers, FFA members, Interact Club (a High School Club sponsored by Rotary), Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, church groups, individual families, and the 2020 Carlinville Queens. Business owners also work cooperatively with volunteers to ensure the plants near their establishments on the City Square are cared for.
Other partners who have been the foundation for our success include: MJM Electric Cooperative; Carlinville Community Unit School District #1; Winning Communities, an arm of the Carlinville Chamber of Commerce; and the Billy Bates Memorial Fund.
Involving the whole community is our way of ensuring we WILL become a “Mecca for Pollinators” and a shining example of a small town with a “can do, will do” attitude. All you really need is the will, a small group of committed friends, and some creative connections. Write some grants, connect with local groups, include youth and seniors, and plan to work hard on behalf of the environment. We did, and it's working!
Guest blog by Dr. Alejandro Fierro, Associate Professor, Committee Co-Chair, Bee Campus USA - University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and Dr. Julie Mustard, Associate Professor, Committee Member, Bee Campus USA - University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
The Rio Grande valley contains a unique habitat that provides a home for over 230 species of butterflies and 60 species of native bees; however, much of the native habitat has been fragmented by agriculture and urban development. Less than 5% of the original ecosystem remains. Seeing the opportunity to sustain native species while also involving students and the broader community in conservation of plants and pollinators, a group of faculty and students were awarded funds through the Transforming Our World initiative at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) to establish a pollinator garden on the Brownsville campus. (Learn more about the garden at the pollinator garden website: www.utrgv.edu/pollinatorcantina.)
Recognizing that the goals of Bee Campus USA to improve pollinator habitat and health aligned with those of UTRGV, we applied to become a Bee Campus USA affiliate and achieved certification in August 2018. The Bee Campus Committee is made up of faculty, students, and grounds maintenance staff.
Education & Outreach
Earth Fest: This event was attended by over 1,000 students, staff, and community members. Those who stopped by were also able to examine native bees and honey bees under the microscope to observe how pollen is carried by bees between flowers. The Bee Campus booth also included a display of live honey bees. Pollinator plant seeds were distributed. Additionally, participants learned about plastic pollution, solar energy, water conservation, and stormwater management.
Butterfly identification: Students went to Resaca de la Palma State Park for a butterfly identification training session with Park Ranger Kelly Cummins. Ranger Cummins provided information on how best to observe butterflies using binoculars specifically designed for butterfly viewing and helped students identify the butterflies they were viewing. This workshop helped prepare our campus to participate in the National Butterfly Count.
HESTEC: Families participated in activities to learn about the importance of pollinators as part of the Hispanic Engineering, Science, and Technology (HESTEC) Week community day.
Rio Reforestation: Over 100 UTRGV student, staff, and faculty volunteers participated in this years’ Rio Reforestation event, planting seedlings at the La Sal Del Rey tract of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge. This is the refuge’s major annual event, drawing hundreds of volunteers from across the lower Rio Grande valley who spend a half day planting native trees and shrubs. Nearly all species planted are pollinated by native insects and birds and many are host plants for larval stages, enhancing pollinator habitat in the region.
Pollinator Health & Habitat
The newly created pollinator garden was constructed by student and community volunteers. Members of the facilities staff also volunteered their time.
The garden contains 15 beds equipped with a drip irrigation system, has more than 30 species of native plants, provides native bee nesting spots, and has a butterfly puddling station. Reclaimed brick and city compost were used to prepare the beds.
In addition to the main pollinator garden on the Brownsville campus, several smaller gardens featuring pollinator friendly plants have been established on the Edinburg campus.
At the beginning of 2020, a grant from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service provided funds to extend the pollinator garden. The expansion is currently underway with 16 additional beds.
Several courses including Introductory Biology and Ecology incorporate service learning in the garden. Students participate in garden construction and maintenance, in doing so learning about soil amendments and drip irrigation as well as native plants and pollinator friendly practices.
Additionally, students in the Ecology course take their knowledge out into the community. For example, students created activities about pollinators that were presented at the Brownsville Children's Museum and seeds for pollinator plants were distributed during Earth Fest celebrations.
Curriculum & Continuing Education
The pollinator garden has been used in multiple courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Introductory Biology students learn to identify insects and keep a record of which insects they see on which plants.
As part of the undergraduate Ecology course, students participated in a workshop on drip irrigation and water conservation hosted by the Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Advancement at UTRGV. Students were then able to apply what they learned by installing the drip irrigation system in the garden.
As part of the graduate Plant–Animal Interactions course, students designed and carried out projects that utilized the garden.
Educational & Interpretative Signage
Signs in the garden identify native plants and the pollinators with which they are most associated. In addition, we are in the process of making signs identifying native trees on campus that supply pollen and nectar, or serve as larval hosts for pollinators. These signs will include both English and Spanish text.
Policies & Practices
UTRGV has a pollinator-friendly integrated pest management plan available at: https://reports.aashe.org/media/secure/1017/7/659/5033/UTRGV%20Integrated%20Pest%20Management.pdf
A list of the pollinator plants used in the Pollinator Cantina is available under “About the Garden” at:
Other pollinator plant lists for the Rio Grande Valley are available online at:
Local suppliers of native plant species:
Guest blog by Kristina Lefever, Committee Chair, Bee City USA - Ashland
Ashland is proud to be the 5th Bee City USA affiliate in the country, and fortunate to be a subcommittee of Ashland Parks and Recreation. The Bee City USA Ashland (BCUA) subcommittee currently consists of four community members, an Ashland Parks and Recreation Commissioner, and our liaison, Libby VanWyhe, manager of the North Mountain Park Nature Center. We meet quarterly at the Nature Center, a wonderful educational center that offers classes, demonstration gardens, field trips, children’s activities, and more.
We have three signs marking our status as a Bee City USA affiliate: one at the north entrance of town, and two in the median of Siskiyou Boulevard, the busy thoroughfare that runs through town (and past the front of Southern Oregon University, the first Bee Campus USA affiliate in the country!)
Bee City USA Ashland has two overarching goals:
Education & Outreach
Pollinator Garden Program
Ashland is a community of walkers. From our charming downtown to our easily accessed mountain biking and hiking trails, people are afoot. This gives us walkers ample opportunities to chat with our neighbors and an opening to share additional information about which plants work best in Ashland: drought-tolerant, deer-resistant, pollinator-friendly natives that thrive in our decomposed granite soil. We also spot gardens that will likely qualify for our Approved Pollinator Garden Program. We have been known to leave an introductory letter on a doorstep with encouragement for the resident gardener to contact the BCUA team for more information.
The process to have a garden certified is simple and enjoyable for everyone. The gardener submits a short form, or has someone submit on their behalf, then two BCUA team members visit the garden to get a tour and make sure that it meets our stated qualifications per the form. The nomination form is available on the Bee City USA Ashland webpage on the Ashland Parks and Recreation website, along with our requirements and an image of the garden sign that approved households can display.
We usually make plant or habitat suggestions during the visit, but always enjoy seeing what people are doing in different parts of the city with varied microclimates and growing conditions. We encourage inclusion of natives to our area, and are considering increasing the minimum number of native plants from three to five. Once approved, the gardener is invited to accept our BCUA Pollinator Garden garden sign for a donation that just about covers the cost of the sign; most people are just delighted to accept! (A local sign company makes them for us by applying the image to a thin sheet of aluminum / poly blend. After 4 years, the signs look almost brand new.)
During 2019, we certified ten gardens for our Approved Pollinator Garden Program, bringing us to a total of 61 at the end of the year. Of these, 13 belong to Ashland Garden Club members and 12 are located at local businesses, including North Mountain Park.
Each summer, we table at our very popular local farmers’ market at least once a month. We use the opportunity to engage with residents, share information about pollinators and gardens, and encourage gardeners to consider having their pollinator garden certified. The market is very popular, even drawing tourists from other countries! Who knows, we may have influenced another city to begin the process of becoming a Bee City USA affiliate! We also use the opportunity to advertise our Annual Pollinator Garden Tour that happens in June.
Another favorite tabling event is the annual Bear Creek Salmon Festival hosted by North Mountain Park and Ashland Parks and Recreation. BCUA is one of more than twenty environmental organizations providing educational, hands-on activities for children and adults -- it’s always a fun day in the fall!
In 2019 we also tabled at a large local seed swap in Ashland, offering native seeds especially attractive to local pollinators, plus herb and flower seeds grown at North Mountain Park. Our committee member Carolyn also had a lovely time tabling at an Ashland art gallery for a “First Friday” art event featuring handmade glass flowers.
Pollinator Garden Tour
During 2019 we held our 3rd Annual Pollinator Garden Tour -- and it was the best one yet! We invited all BCUA pollinator gardeners to a Pollinator Gardener Social, and 15 gardeners volunteered. For the first time, we decided to make the tour a weekend event. Gardens were open for four hours on both Saturday and Sunday mornings, with the gardeners choosing which day(s) to show their gardens. We also invited local businesses to participate either by sharing their garden or supporting the pollinator theme in some other way. We met with the Ashland Chamber of Commerce about how to best spread the word. They helped us get an article in the Chamber’s newsletter and we also attended several Chamber meetings. Six businesses accepted our invitation and offered a range of ‘extras’ to ‘ticket’ holders: free beverages, a discount on purchases, and one even offered refreshments in their garden along with a talk by a local bee-loved pollinator person!
As always, the Garden Tour booklet served as the ‘ticket’. The booklet included a map with descriptions and pictures of each garden, Phyllis Stiles’ welcome letter, a letter from BCUA about the dangers of neonicotinoids, and a little ‘advertisement’ for each participating business. With help from the City of Ashland and BCUA gardeners, we advertised the tour in the Ashland Parks and Recreation Community Playguide, on Facebook, in a press release, with flyers, and in letters in the paper. We also were featured with both video and a print story in the excellent “Literary Gardener” column for the Rogue Valley’s primary paper, the Mail Tribune. The tour booklet was available for purchase several weeks before the tour date, so it was easy for people to select the gardens they wanted to visit on this self-guided tour. Over 125 people participated in the tour over the two days, a 50% increase from 2018!
In 2019, Ashland Parks Commissioners and staff participated in a unique opportunity, attending a day-long workshop about organic lawn care led by Chip Osborne of Osborne Organics. Other attendees included staff from five cities, an elementary school, Southern Oregon University, the county parks, and the Ashland golf course. Sponsored by Beyond Toxics, Pollinator Project Rogue Valley, and Beyond Pesticides, the workshop included a visit to a city park in neighboring Talent for a ‘how-to’ review of soil testing, along with Chip’s recommendations for improving lawns without synthetic fertilizers or toxic chemicals.
Pollinator Health & Habitat
We began working with the Riverwalk community to transform a little-used Ashland neighborhood pocket park into a pollinator garden park in 2018. The Riverwalk community includes 62 homes, and is across the street from Ashland's North Mountain Park, home to BCUA. This project was suggested by Carolyn Hunsaker, a Riverwalk resident, who was “enticed” to join the BCUA subcommittee to help make her dream a reality.
The project came together after a number of planning meetings among BCUA team members, and began with several work parties with BCUA and Riverwalk residents in the summer of 2018. We began by solarizing the primary garden section (to get rid of the crab and bermuda grasses) and sheet mulching the front area by the sidewalk. In March of 2019, under Carolyn’s direction, volunteers from the community planted the front area. In the fall of 2019, the plastic was removed from the main garden area and we were very pleased to see the majority of the grass had been killed. There were some areas on the edge that we tackled manually. We immediately covered the area with cardboard and then Parks department staff delivered loads of topsoil, which BCUA volunteers shaped into mounded beds flanking a pathway through the main garden area. When we were satisfied with height and shape, wood chips (also supplied by the Parks department) were wheelbarrowed from the street to the garden. Then the area rested, to be planted in the spring of 2020. As of this writing, the garden is stunning. Thyme, veronica, joe pye weed, and milkweed grow alongside the native kinnikinick that was already there. View the album of the Riverwalk pollinator garden project here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/F8TXgAaBJL9Ttibc9 . Stay tuned for more updates in our 2020 annual report!
This new BCUA Pollinator Garden Pocket Park, in close proximity to the North Mountain Park demonstration gardens and the Hunsakers’ own garden in Riverwalk, creates a cluster of pollinator patches within a small area.
BCUA continues to maintain the small pollinator garden that we planted at the end of 2017 at The Grove, the office of Parks and Rec, on East Main St, a busy thoroughfare through town. The garden is planted with goldenrod, lavender, thyme, echinacea, native bunch grass, and more. We continue to work on adding more native plants and improving the soil and irrigation system. We purposefully leave the plants in their 'weedy' state through the winter for birds and stem-nesting bees, and if we are lucky, overwintering butterflies. We plan to add signage explaining our maintenance practices, identifying the pollinator plants, and sharing information about different pollinators' varied nesting habits.
We love our Parks and Rec staff, and would like to express our deep appreciation for their excellent support of our subcommittee and our pollinator gardens!
Policies & Practices
Recommended Locally Native Plant Species List — http://www.ashlandsaveswater.org/assets/NativePlants_10.2010.pdf
Regional Native Plant Supplier List — https://f5d66c9a-906a-4990-8897-20d125ce7879.filesusr.com/ugd/9290bd_9819e8d13c2d41d1933a5d0e156dafa9.pdf
Pollinator Friendly Integrated Pest Management Plan — http://www.ashland.or.us/Files/IPM_PolicyOriginalAmendments.pdf
Guest blog by Nikhil Schneider and Austin Eriksson, Committee Co-Chairs, Bee Campus USA - California State University Northridge
California State University Northridge (CSUN) has long-standing goals and practices regarding planting native species, reducing pesticide use, and expanding sustainability education and research. With this in mind, CSUN recognized the Bee Campus USA certification as an excellent opportunity to establish pollinator-focused efforts throughout these areas of practice and improve the health of vital pollinator populations. CSUN was certified as a Bee Campus USA affiliate in November 2018.
Through efforts stemming from its Bee Campus USA status, CSUN has incorporated pollinator-related content into courses, workshops, events, and presentations. The campus has added thousands of square feet of pollinator habitat guided by a formal Pollinator Habitat Plan, and installed educational signage identifying protected pollinator habitats, plants, and their pollinators.
Education & Outreach
CSUN hosted a variety of pollinator-related education and outreach events in 2019 including work days at the Institute for Sustainability’s Sustainable Garden Education Center, Sustainability Day, garden workshops and tours, conferences, farmers markets, and pollinator pocket community beautification.
Sustainable Garden Education Center Work Days
Garden work days are a staple of service learning and hands-on sustainability education at CSUN’s Institute for Sustainability’s Sustainable Garden Education Center. Throughout the year volunteers help plant, water, pull weeds, compost, fertilize, and harvest various plants and produce in the garden. Through this process, volunteers learn about sustainable food systems, and the vital role that pollinators play in food production.
Sustainability Day (October 24)
CSUN’s 2019 Sustainability Day focused on the topic of biodiversity loss, and highlighted examples of loss and how it impacts different populations, ecosystems, and cultures. CSUN biology professor Dr. Rachel Mackelprang discussed the various threats that honey bee populations face worldwide, and the invaluable role they play in pollinating numerous food products. She also discussed the research she performs on honey bees in CSUN’s campus orange grove. The final session of the event was a garden workshop highlighting ways to make your green space more pollinator-friendly, including adding pollinator-friendly species and habitat structures. Attendees also learned about the many advantages of having pollinators in their gardens.
Garden Workshops and Tours
CSUN’s Institute for Community Health and Wellbeing hosts a Walkability Wednesday series that invites campus members to take a themed tour of the university led by a subject-matter expert. In collaboration with the Institute for Sustainability, a sustainability-themed tour was launched to highlight a number of CSUN’s sustainability accomplishments, including the campus’ efforts to promote and protect pollinators.
Pollinator Pocket Community Beautification
The Institute for Sustainability initiated a “pollinator pocket” community beautification project with the Northridge Beautification Foundation and Council District 12. This partnership will lead to multiple pollinator habitats in underutilized city spaces around CSUN. More information at: https://csunshinetoday.csun.edu/health-and-fitness/pocketful-of-pollen-csun-partners-with-community-on-havens-for-pollinators/
Pollinator Health & Habitat
Most of CSUN's pollinator habitat efforts in the past year were undertaken by the campus Grounds team. CSUN is located in a drought-prone region, and members of this team perform a number of landscaping renovations each year to replace water-intensive turfgrass with native, drought-tolerant species. Expanding pollinator habitat is now a key function of their work and future efforts will be aligned with pollinator-friendly landscaping principles to continuously expand pollinator habitats on the campus. Over the course of the last year, turfgrass was replaced with drought-tolerant pollinator-supporting native plants in three areas of the campus: two patches of lawn on the north and west sides of Sequoia Hall, and another on the east side of Redwood hall.
Students and volunteers play a role in other habitat expansion events. A tree planting held each year during Earth Fair features the installation of several trees, some of which are native and many flowering. Earth Fair attendees are invited to participate in planting the trees and learn about the role trees play in providing pollinator habitats and other valuable ecosystem services.
Six service learning classes completed projects in the Sustainable Garden Education Center’s pollinator garden. Classes included Liberal Studies (Minor in Sustainability), Biology, Communications, Geography (2), and Community and Civil Engagement. Each class offered students 5 to 20 hours of service learning with approximately 450 service-learning students at the garden. The Biology class had approximately 84 students with more than 10 hours each at the garden. Three of these classes received funding from the Office of Community Engagement for projects including purchasing plants and seeds of pollinator-friendly plants.
Service learning activities at the garden teach students about the role pollinators play in sustainable food systems and give them the opportunity to participate in organic gardening practices. Students harvest over 30 edible plant species and donate surplus food to the CSUN Food Pantry. These donations totaled over 500 pounds of fresh produce in 2019.
Curriculum & Continuing Education
Pollinator topics were addressed in a number of for-credit courses in 2019. Biologic Principles, Entomology, Bacterial Diversity, Conservation Biology, Evolutionary Biology, Plant Ecology, Flowering Plant Systematics, and Ecology and People all included pollinator-related topics.
Some of these courses examine the relationship between plants and their pollinators, others look at threats and conservation efforts impacting pollinator populations, the mechanics of pollination, the impacts of humans and pollinators upon each other, and other aspects of plant - human - pollinator relationships.
Outside of for-credit courses, CSUN hosted a pollinator protection workshop as part of its 2019 annual Sustainability Day. Attendees learned about different native plants and the benefits they provide to pollinators as habitats and food sources. Attendees also received guidance on planting different species for drought tolerance, soil health, pollinator promotion, and food production.
Educational & Interpretive Signage
Permanent signs were installed at CSUN's new pollinator garden. These signs are labels for the different pollinator-friendly plants found at the installation. They indicate the common and scientific name of each species, as well as the type of pollinator each species typically attracts.
Additionally, permanent signs were installed beside 17 planters around campus, identifying them as pollinator habitats planted with native species and protected from pesticide use.
Additional signage has been designed and ordered, which will denote certain areas as pollinator habitat, and will also feature CSUN's status as a Bee Campus USA affiliate. These signs will be installed this year at certain locations across campus.
Policies & Practices
CSUN has implemented an Integrated Pest Management plan which applies to all 356 acres of campus, with the goal of minimizing pesticide use and toxicity to the greatest extent possible. CSUN does not use broad pesticide applications, instead utilizing spot treatment.
By Molly Martin, Bee City USA Coordinator
Bee City USA works with towns and cities to bring people together to help pollinators. Affiliates commit to conserve native pollinators by creating and enhancing habitat, reducing pesticide use, and spreading awareness. Bee City’s sister initiative, Bee Campus USA, supports pollinator conservation on college and university campuses. These are truly collaborative community efforts, requiring the involvement of everyone from city managers and landscaping staff to backyard gardeners, professors, and students. There is room for everyone at the table to work toward positive change in their community. To learn more about program commitments, read our recent blog on Bee City USA.
As we enter Pollinator Week, a network of more than 200 communities committed to supporting pollinators stretches from coast-to-coast, encompassing 109 cities and 102 campuses in 42 states. The program is growing significantly, with 28 campuses and 23 cities joining during the last year, and many more communities currently applying. At the end of each year, we ask that affiliates update us on their conservation work as part of the annual renewal—and what these reports reveal is remarkable.
Conservation by the numbers
A total of 829,867 people were engaged in pollinator conservation in 2019 as a result of Bee City USA and Bee Campus USA affiliates. This included individuals who attended events, habitat project volunteers, participants in for-credit and continuing education courses, and those involved in service-learning projects.
A total of 876 habitat projects were completed, totaling 94,426,121 square feet (more than 2,160 acres).
A wide range of integrated pest management practices were implemented. Some affiliates found ways to reduce their reliance on pesticides while others eliminated pesticide use altogether.
Having started as the Bee City USA Coordinator in September of 2019, this was my first experience overseeing the renewal process and I found it eye opening. For the first time I fully realized the extent to which Bee City USA and Bee Campus USA foster mutualistic positive outcomes. In a world of rising sea levels, unprecedented habitat loss, and overwhelming species declines, these programs provide communities a tangible way to enact change. While focused on supporting pollinator communities, human communities are simultaneously strengthened.
This Pollinator Week, I hope you will gain inspiration from these communities and consider incorporating practices that support pollinators throughout the entire year. Whether by planting native flowering species, reducing the frequency at which you mow your lawn, or opting for hand weeding rather than spraying herbicides, you can help support native pollinator species and join a national network of like-minded people.
Read more about the specific ways that each renewing affiliate engaged in pollinator conservation in 2019 in their renewal reports.
Gain a more in-depth understanding of the work that a few affiliates are doing through reading our monthly affiliate spotlights, available on the Bee City USA blog: https://www.beecityusa.org/blog-and-news
Bee City USA and Bee Campus USA overview and commitments: https://www.xerces.org/blog/earth-week-bee-city-usa
Guest Blog by Carol Ann Lydon, Committee Chair, Bee Campus USA - Blue Ridge Community College, North Carolina
Blue Ridge Community College, located in Flat Rock, North Carolina, became a Bee Campus USA affiliate in 2017, two years after neighboring Hendersonville’s achieved Bee City USA certification. The two affiliates have collaborated on pollinator conservation events, outreach, and activities ever since. Blue Ridge recognizes the importance of all pollinators to the reproduction of the region’s crops as well as the diverse native flora of North Carolina. Read on to learn about the ways in which the college has integrated pollinator conservation into many aspects of life on campus!
Education & Outreach
In 2019, Blue Ridge’s Bee Campus committee and Hendersonville’s Bee City committee worked together to participate in a variety of outreach events. The two committees hosted tables focused on pollinator outreach at the Bee Bold Pollinator Festival hosted by Bold Rock Hard Cider in August and the annual harvest celebration in November. The table included information on native plants, gardening for pollinators, the role of native bees and honey bees in food production, and even some bee trivia questions!
This was the inaugural Bold Rock Bee Bold Pollinator Festival, and Blue Ridge’s Bee Campus committee along with Hendersonville Bee City USA aimed to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators. Without the pollination services provided by bees, apple trees would not bear the fruit required for Bold Rock to produce their cider. No bees, no Bold Rock! This festival celebrated pollinators and educated the community about these species which are also crucial members of the community.
Blue Ridge also hosted the Western North Carolina Gardening Symposium where speakers shared information about gardening and the ways in which gardeners can create habitat for bees and other pollinators.
Pollinator Health & Habitat
Blue Ridge was excited to plant four pollinator-friendly habitats on campus in 2019, encompassing over an acre of land. The college worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to source seed and design and install the habitat. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service donated seeds, which included a North Carolina mountains meadow mix, butterfly and hummingbird garden mix, and a mesic-dry mix. A representative from U.S. Fish and Wildlife helped the Bee Campus Committee designate the best areas for pollinator habitat and advised on where to plant different species. All donated seeds were planted by the Facilities Director, Groundskeeper, and grounds crew. As winter has turned to spring, the campus community has enjoyed watching these new pollinator habitats come to life.
In May of 2019, Blue Ridge student leaders planted a Monarch Waystation on campus. Students planted milkweed received through a grant from Monarch Watch, along with other native species. Many of the students had never worked in a garden before, so this was a great opportunity for them to learn about gardening and native plants. The Grounds Supervisor provided guidance and assistance to the students along the way. Students had a fantastic time learning and working together to create habitat. This spring the students involved in planting will register the garden as an official Monarch Waystation.
Curriculum & Continuing Education
Pollinator-related information was included in four continuing education courses offered in 2019: Wildlife Gardening, Introduction to Modern Landscaping, Plant Propagation, and Winter Gardening. As an example of how these courses covered pollinators, in Wildlife Gardening students learned how to replace yards requiring mowing, fertilizer, and chemicals with small wildlife gardens that require much less maintenance. Topics included habitat design, plant selection, and establishment to create habitat for pollinators and other native wildlife species. The Horticulture lead instructor also integrates discussions of pollinator ecology and conservation into all of the horticulture curriculum courses.
Policies & Practices
Blue Ridge has worked to improve habitat for pollinators not only through expanding floral resource availability but also by reducing the use of pesticides. Pesticide use has been reduced throughout the campus’ landscaping, including on the college’s lawns. The Grounds Department is committed to not spraying any flowering weeds while they are in bloom. These flowering weeds include dandelions, white clover, purple clover, henbit, and purple deadnettle. Learn more about Blue Ridge’s approach to managing pests while reducing negative impacts on pollinators and other wildlife by reading their integrated pest management plan
Blue Ridge looks forward to continuing their pollinator conservation work in the coming year and finding creative ways to expand their impact through collaborating with the Hendersonville Bee City USA committee.
Guest Blog by Kelly Clark, Committee Chair, Bee Campus USA - Carson City, Nevada
Carson City, Nevada, became a Bee City USA affiliate in 2018 and has since worked to make pollinator conservation a community-wide endeavor. Pollinator conservation has become a key component of the city’s education and outreach, habitat enhancement, and policies and practices. Carson City’s Bee City USA committee has become a focal point for pollinator related activities in the community, bringing together a variety of groups already working to spread awareness, improve habitat, and reduce pesticide use and adding to their efforts. Continue reading to learn more about the great work taking place to make Carson City a better place for bees and other native pollinators. Download Carson City's renewal report at the end of this blog for a complete list of their 2019 activities.
Education & Outreach
Getting the word out about pollinator conservation is an essential component of the Carson City Bee City USA group’s work. An aware and engaged community is crucial for getting people to adopt changes in their own homes and yards to preserve and protect pollinators. In 2019, approximately 25 pollinator events were held, ranging from Earth Day activities to guided hikes, beekeeping classes to gardening workshops. Carson City’s Bee City committee is especially proud of the outreach they have done this year and look forward to getting even more involved with the community in 2020.
Earth Day: 2019 Earth Day activities were co-sponsored by the Great Basin Beekeepers of Nevada and the Carson City Historical Society, with the theme “Celebrating Pollinators” to teach residents and children about Carson City’s recent Bee City USA designation, as well as pollinator conservation practices. The Carson City Culture and Tourism Authority sponsored the creation of pollinator information cards and printed fliers that were distributed to fifth grade students in the Carson City School District. This celebration of pollinators featured guest speakers who gave presentations about Integrated Pest Management and chemical reduction strategies, planting for pollinators, and climate change impacts on pollinator conservation. It was a fun time and educational for the whole community!
Farm Days: Farm Days is an annual education event for pre-kindergarten to elementary-aged children. With a focus on animal husbandry and agriculture, this event is very important for groups like the Great Basin Beekeepers of Nevada (GBBN). Approximately 2,000 children participate in the event each year. With the help of GBBN, children learn the important role bees play in the pollination of plants. This is a great opportunity for children to learn about the differences between native bees and honey bees. Participants even got the opportunity to taste some delicious local honey.
Interpretive Hikes: Throughout 2019, Carson City sponsored several guided interpretive hikes for children and adults, covering a variety of pollinator topics. Sponsored hikes included: “Pollinator Tot Trek”, a scavenger hunt for young children where they got to spot a bee, butterfly, or flower in nature, and “Wildflower Walk”, where leaders highlighted and identified local plant species and discussed the importance of pollinators.
This was an exciting year for Carson City in terms of public engagement; we hope to continue this momentum into 2020! The committee has also purchased two additional Bee City USA signs and is working with the Nevada Division of Transportation (NDOT) to get permits to have them placed along the roadway entering and exiting Carson City.
Pollinator Health & Habitat
In 2019, Carson City seeded approximately 240 acres of disturbed land with a pollinator-friendly seed blend. This acreage primarily consisted of areas that had been burned by wildfire in previous years. In addition to seeding activities, Carson City worked to establish specific areas of new pollinator habitat – including a Pollinator Garden and the Carson City Chamber Leadership ‘Bee Hotel’ at the Foothill Garden. Carson City’s Bee City USA Committee would especially like to thank their partners including Carson City Parks, Recreation & Open Space Department, The Greenhouse Project, Carson-Tahoe Cancer Center, and the 2019 Carson City Chamber Leadership Group for their efforts in establishing this new pollinator habitat in Carson City. None of these events were specifically sponsored by the committee, but rather independent community engagement on pollinator conservation!
Chamber Leadership Bee Hotel: Following Carson City’s designation as a Bee City USA in 2018, the Carson City Chamber Leadership group wanted to complete a project dedicated to pollinator conservation. As a result, they designed and installed a Bee Hotel at the Foothill Garden Site, an area that already supported sustainable agriculture and food production in Carson City. Now, with the inclusion of the Bee Hotel, the Foothill Garden has become an amazing site for children and adults alike to learn more about the connection between food and pollinators.
Foothill Pollinator Garden: In conjunction with the Bee Hotel, Carson City staff worked with the Carson-Tahoe Cancer Center and The Greenhouse Project to grow native flowers and plant them in a garden adjacent to the new Bee Hotel to provide forage for the bees. This garden is also adjacent to the Serenity Trail, which is prescribed as a wellness trail by the Carson-Tahoe Cancer Center.
Restoration Activities: The Carson City Parks, Recreation & Open Space Department completes restoration on disturbed areas every year. These are areas where weeds have been eradicated, fires have taken place, or volunteers have worked to establish more native vegetation. Since becoming a Bee City USA, City staff have worked to incorporate pollinator-friendly plant species into all seed blends. The photo at the beginning of this blog shows flowers that started to come back after a 220-acre wildfire. Some of these flowers established naturally, while some were included in the seed blend that was used to restore the disturbed area. This area is located adjacent to the Carson River and is an important natural resource for pollinators.
Carson City is very excited about the pollinator enhancement activities that took place in 2019. Through future volunteer and education events the Carson City Bee City USA Committee hopes to create even more habitat in 2020.
Policies & Practices
While Carson City’s Integrated Pest Management Plan is still in progress, the city has continued to implement a variety of IPM principles in Parks and Open Spaces. Specifically, plants are removed by hand when appropriate. In 2019, species removed by hand included puncturevine, bull thistle, poison hemlock, and various aquatic invasive plants. Additionally, Carson City worked with the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) to conduct a biocontrol release of a naturally occurring rust fungus to target the noxious weed Canada thistle through non-chemical means. Carson City also worked with the Nevada Division of Forestry (NDF) to complete corridor clearing by hand along a trail that would have been previously treated with chemical herbicides. Carson City also completed solarization on noxious weeds occurring adjacent to organic farms and gardens -- including the Foothill Garden -- in order to avoid using herbicides in these sensitive food-production locations. These are all practices that have been implemented in the past and will continue to be implemented and expanded upon in order to reduce the dependence on chemical herbicides in the future.
Carson City’s Bee City USA Committee has been drafting an Integrated Pest Management plan throughout the year and is gathering input from all City Departments who engage in invasive plant management.
Guest Blog by Megan McManamen, Committee Chair, Bee Campus USA - Gillette, Wyoming
Campbell County Master Gardener, Keep Gillette Beautiful Steering Committee
Gillette, Wyoming, marked its fourth year as a Bee City USA affiliate by hosting a variety of outreach and education activities for the community, creating and protecting pollinator habitat, and incorporating pollinator conservation into city policies and practices. Gillette community members participate in a variety of conservation programs including Bee City USA, collaborating on activities to reach shared conservation goals.
Education & Outreach
This past spring Gillette hosted their annual Gillette Pollinator Day Celebration at the Garden and Landscape Educational Expo. During this day-long educational event over 250 community members attended workshops and lectures free of charge to learn about Wyoming’s native pollinators and planting for pollinators. In between lectures, participants were invited to take pictures with the bumble bee photo board and praying mantis, and stroll through educational booths which featured information about native bees, monarchs and milkweed, and native pollinator-friendly plants. The Northeast Wyoming Seed Library also gave away free packets of native wildflower seed. All attendees received a copy of the “Bee a Friend to Pollinators” brochure as well as the “Promoting Pollinators on Your Place” handbook, a free publication produced by the University of Wyoming Extension and Barnyards and Backyards.
During National Pollinator Week, the Gillette Bee City teamed up with the Urban Orchard -- a community fruit tree orchard where residents can harvest fruit for free -- and Campbell County Public Library to host a celebration of Wyoming’s native bees. The event was opened by Christy Bell, a PhD student in Zoology at the University of Wyoming, who introduced participants to the fascinating world of Wyoming’s native bees and led attendees through a crash course on how to identify them. After the workshop, participants were invited to the Urban Orchard to participate in the June pollinator count, set out butterfly puddlers, and install Gold-level Habitat Hero signage. With Christy’s help, participants were able to locate a thriving sweat bee nest complete with a cuckoo bee!
During May, June, July, and August, Gillette Bee City conducted pollinator surveys at the Urban Orchard. This involved counting the number of native bees, honey bees, butterflies, moths, flies, and wasps. During the July 2019 count, participants documented a two-fold increase in pollinator activity when compared to 2018 and during the August 2019 count, the number of pollinators at the Urban Orchard had tripled when compared to last year!
Gillette Bee City also collaborated with the Master Gardeners and Campbell County Extension to have a booth at the 2019 Campbell County Ag Expo. Over 700 third graders visited the booth to look at insect cases featuring native pollinators, view pollinators under microscopes, and take pictures with the bumble bee photo board.
During the Campbell County Master Gardeners Annual Tree Sale, Gillette Bee City partnered with the Campbell County Conservation District to provide free copies of the "Promoting Pollinators on Your Place" handbook. The Tree Sale Committee also worked with Gillette Bee City to highlight pollinator friendly trees and educate visitors about the importance of providing trees for pollinators.
Pollinator Health & Habitat
In 2019, the Gillette Bee City teamed up with the City of Gillette Parks Division to encourage Adopt-A-Planter participants to select pollinator-friendly plants for the fourth year in a row. Each summer, the City of Gillette invites local nonprofits, civic groups, businesses, and individuals to adopt and care for one of the community’s 96 beautification planters throughout the summer. Adopt-A-Planter participants were able to easily locate pollinator-friendly plants by looking for the bee symbol placed next to pollinator friendly species on the pre-selected Adopt-A-Planter plant list, and they received an electronic version of the pollinator-friendly planting guide.
Gillette Bee City also worked to protect and create new pollinator habitat this year. An area of native showy milkweed along one of Gillette’s major roads was designated as a Monarch Waystation through Monarch Watch. The Bee City committee teamed up with Campbell County Parks and Recreation to expand the pollinator garden at the Urban Orchard. Two pollinator gardens in town also earned certifications through Audubon’s Habitat Hero program.
The North Community Garden installed a new pollinator garden to delight its volunteers with spring and summer blooms, and provide habitat and forage for native pollinators. Gillette Bee City also worked with Gillette College to complete the installation of a demonstration pollinator rain garden in front of the Gillette College Technical Education Center. This garden features educational signage and benches to encourage community members to linger and learn about pollinators and urban water runoff in the community.
Policies & Practices
Gillette Bee City worked with the City of Gillette Parks and Beautification Board to add a new “Go Green” category to the city’s annual Landscape Beautification Awards. This new category recognizes Gillette’s status as a Bee City and Tree City and acknowledges those homeowners, businesses, institutions, civic groups, and nonprofit organizations that have made sustainability a key feature of their landscape design by incorporating wildlife or pollinator habitat, water-wise gardening techniques (rain barrels, cisterns, drip irrigation), use of native plants, low-impact development practices, along with other sustainability-minded landscape-design features.
On March 19, 2019 the City of Gillette proclaimed April 6 as Gillette Pollinator Day and recognized Gillette as an affiliate of Bee City USA and a signatory of the National WIldlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge. The City of Gillette in conjunction with Gillette Bee City and the Campbell County Master Gardeners worked together to complete the requirements of the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge and Gillette was recognized as part of the Leadership Circle by taking 8 or more actions to protect the monarch butterfly.
Gillette Bee City looks forward to another year of bringing the community together to learn about and take steps to conserve native pollinators.
When people hear the word “bee” they often think of a single bee species, the European honey bee (Apis mellifera). However, the United States is also home to just over 3,600 native (wild) bee species such as bumble bees, leafcutter bees, sweat bees, mason bees, longhorn bees, and mining bees! Native pollinators are particularly important because they evolved alongside native plants and in many cases are the most effective pollinators -- and in a few cases, the only pollinators. Pollinators are keystone species in essentially every terrestrial ecosystem on earth, assisting in plant reproduction and supporting other species of wildlife. Pollinators touch our lives in numerous ways each day, including being responsible for approximately one third of the food and drink we consume. The value of crop pollination has been estimated between $18 and $27 billion annually in the U.S.
Research has shown significant declines in native pollinator population sizes and ranges globally. In fact, up to 40% of pollinator species on earth may be at risk of extinction in the coming years as a result of habitat loss, the use of harmful pesticides, and climate change.
Are you interested in working with your community to reverse these declines and support our (in)valuable pollinators? Thinking globally and acting locally, Bee City USA provides a framework for communities to come together to conserve native pollinators by providing them with healthy habitat that is rich in a variety of native plants, provides nest sites, and is protected from pesticides.
As the name suggests, the focus of Bee City USA is bees, and primarily our native species. The steps that affiliates take to conserve our native bees, including creating safe habitats and hosting community events, will also help butterflies and moths as well as the nonnative honey bee. One of the most impactful actions any affiliate can take is to encourage others to think beyond the honey bee and recognize the true diversity of bees that sustain our communities.
Joining the cities and campuses across the country rallying to protect pollinators is a great way to bring your community together to create positive change!
Who Can Become an Affiliate of Bee City USA?
Cities and towns that are incorporated municipalities can work to reverse pollinator declines in their communities by becoming affiliates of Bee City USA. Bee City USA’s sister initiative, Bee Campus USA, works with institutions of higher education, including colleges and universities. See below for more details on each of these designations!
If you don’t fit into one of these categories but would like to commit to conserve native pollinators, the Xerces Society’s Bring Back the Pollinators campaign and its Pollinator Protection Pledge might be a good choice for you. Signing the pledge means making a commitment to growing pollinator-friendly flowers, providing nest sites, avoiding pesticides, and spreading the word. With these core values, pollinator conservation can be adapted to any location, whether you tend an urban community garden or a suburban yard, or work in a city park or on a farm.
Benefits to Your Community:
Bee City USA
So what does becoming a Bee City entail? The Bee City USA program endorses a set of commitments, defined in a resolution, for creating sustainable habitats for native pollinators. Incorporated cities, towns, and communities across the country are invited to make these commitments and become a Bee City USA affiliate.
Bee City USA Commitments:
Bee City USA Application Process:
Bee Campus USA
Structured similarly to Bee City USA, the Bee Campus USA program endorses a set of commitments, defined in an application, for creating sustainable habitats for pollinators. College students, faculty, administrators, and staff have long been among the nation's most tenacious champions for sustainable environmental practices.
Bee Campus USA Commitments:
Bee Campus USA Application Process:
Thank you for your interest in engaging your community in conserving the many species of native pollinators that share our parks, neighborhoods, and backyards. Whether you encourage your city or campus to join Bee City USA, participate in the Bring Back the Pollinators campaign, or simply take small steps in your daily life to increase habitat, reduce pesticide use, or spread awareness, you are contributing to a global effort to protect pollinators.
Guest Blog by Patrick McKee, Committee Chair, Bee Campus USA - University of Connecticut Storrs
Sustainability Program Manager, Office of Sustainability, University of Connecticut Storrs
In 2018 the University of Connecticut Storrs became the first certified Bee Campus in the state of Connecticut. UConn’s Bee Campus application was primarily student-driven, spearheaded by UConnPIRG (Public Interest Research Group), a student activist organization on campus. The current Bee Campus USA Committee is comprised of faculty, staff, and students that have integrated pollinator protection throughout campus activities by bringing together the campus community around a shared goal. Throughout the year, campus groups including the Spring Valley Student Farm, Eco Garden club, and UConn Extension host pollinator-related events and outreach and work to make UConn a more pollinator-friendly campus. In 2019, UConn invited the campus community and general public to join them for a variety of exciting pollinator education, outreach, and habitat enhancement activities.
UConn is home to the Spring Valley Student Farm, which welcomes students and other volunteers to grow sustainable produce. Students help plant, weed, and harvest a variety of flowers, food crops, and forest plants, with the help of the 11 farm residents and volunteers. This past year, in addition to a variety of other flower species, milkweed was planted to provide habitat to pollinators. The farm uses organic fertilizers and non-chemical pest prevention. On Thursdays, from May through September, UConn’s Spring Valley Student Farm participated in the Farm Fresh Market, a farmers market located on campus where students sell flowers, vegetables, and other produce.
In addition to working at the Spring Valley Student Farm, UConn students and volunteers completed invasive species removal and trail maintenance in the Hillside Environmental Education Park (HEEP) on campus. HEEP consists of uplands, meadows, woodlands, wetlands, and riparian zones and includes a network of hiking trails.
The EcoGarden Club, comprised of about 15 students, also planted new pollinator plants at the Mansfield Community Eco Garden, which they work on between May and October. This garden includes herbs, vegetables, and a variety of flower species.
In October 2019, UConn hosted a Native Plants and Pollinators Conference. This exciting day of presentations featured current science-based research and information on supporting pollinators in managed landscapes. The program was designed for growers and other green industry professionals, landscape service providers, landscape architects and designers, town commissions, municipalities, schools, and homeowners to learn how to utilize native plants to provide the greatest value for pollinators throughout the year. Session topics included: Monarch Waystation; Asters & Goldenrods: Autumn’s Pollinator Banquet; Evaluating Pollinator Attraction of Herbaceous Perennial Nativars; Aronia Up Close: Built in Complexity and Potential; and What We Know About Nativars, Pollinators, and the Nursery Industry: Making Informed Decisions.
Other outreach activities hosted by UConn included free pollinator puppet-building workshops, an Earth Day spring fling, and most recently a screening of the documentary “Pollinators” followed by a Q&A with the director and producer.
UConn also works to integrate pollinator conservation into service learning opportunities and curriculum. In the fall 2019 service learning course, Insects, Food, and Culture, students developed group projects on various insect-related topics. Students developed posters focusing on the questions, 1) what are pollinators and how do we interact with them, and
2) problems that pollinators face. Students also shared information about pollinators at a local after-school program.
Other courses incorporated information on plant ecology, pollinator biology, integrated pest management practices, pollinators in agriculture, and landscaping for pollinators. You can find a full list of these courses in UConn’s renewal report.
Throughout the year, UConn Public Interest Research Group (UConnPIRG) used signage to promote bee conservation and raise awareness about their Save the Bees Campaign. Flyers and permanently installed signs shared information and facts about the protection of pollinators. These signs included information on the foods that require pollination and the fact that 1 out of 3 forkfuls of food are a product of pollination. Ten signs permanently installed in the dining halls remind students of the importance of pollinators everyday. These signs and flyers help raise awareness about the role of pollinators in our food systems and ecosystems.
UConn’s Bee Campus committee has harnessed existing enthusiasm for environmental stewardship on campus and added to the positive momentum. Through education, outreach, and habitat enhancement, UConn has worked throughout 2019 to bring together the campus and broader community to make UConn’s campus a better place for pollinators. UConn looks forward to continuing its work to reverse pollinator declines in the years ahead.
Header photo by: Nancy Lee Adamson
These are the opinions and events of interest to the Bee City USA coordinator and Xerces Society.