Bee Campus USA has certified the Medical University of South Carolina as the 11th affiliate in the nation and the first in South Carolina. To qualify for certification, a university or educational institution must make several commitments. They must establish and maintain a committee comprised of groundskeeping staff, faculty, administrators and students to develop a Campus Pollinator Habitat Plan that will incorporate native pollinator-friendly plants and a least toxic integrated pest management plan. They must hold annual campus events to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators and sponsor service–learning projects to enhance pollinator habitats on and off campus. They must offer a course or workshop on pollinator ecology and integrated pest management that provides continuing education credits for professional pesticide applicators and landscape designers. Institutions must also take steps to educate the campus and broader community about the importance of pollinator–friendly landscaping principles.
Already thinking about the future, Carmen Ketron, the educator for MUSC’s Urban Farm, said, "Her goal is to use MUSC’s Bee Campus certification to develop a model for The Citadel and the College of Charleston to follow. Eventually, she hopes the city of Charleston itself will apply for Bee City USA status."
Read the entire announcement here.
The North Carolina Arboretum, a public garden and affiliate of the University of North Carolina system, and Bee Campus USA, are pleased to announce that the Arboretum is the seventh institution to be certified as a Bee Campus USA affiliate.
The Arboretum’s Executive Director George Briggs said, “As an affiliate of the University of North Carolina system, the Arboretum works hard to provide our members, visitors and students with educational opportunities that align with both our mission and the University. Bee Campus USA is a terrific organization and we are excited to have them as a partner to help us grow our program even further.”
In addition to creating and enhancing pollinator-focused landscapes on its campus, the Arboretum works with volunteers and other outside organizations to create pollinator gardens in the community.
“Learning through service is a core value of our educational institution,” commented Clara Curtis, senior director for mission delivery at The North Carolina Arboretum. “For example, our partnership with Thermo Fisher Scientific is enabling the establishment of pollinator gardens at five local schools and our ecoEXPLORE initiative is helping us create similar features at all twelve branches of the Buncombe County Public Library System. We are extremely excited about all of these efforts to increase awareness about the benefits of pollinators in our region.”
Read the full press release here.
Thanks to Birds & Blooms magazine for shining a light on Bee City USA and the importance of planting native plants and reducing pesticide use to sustain pollinators. Check out their February/March 2016 issue, pp. 28-33.
Bee Campus USA has certified the Georgia Institute of Technology (also known as Georgia Tech) as only the second Bee Campus USA affiliate in the nation, a program designed to marshal the strengths of educational campuses for the benefit of pollinators.
College students, faculty, administrators, and staff have long been among the nation's most dedicated champions for sustainable environmental practices.
“We are very proud to be the second certified Bee Campus USA in the nation. This designation greatly complements the efforts of the students, faculty, and staff currently working on environmental and sustainability issues,” said Jennifer Leavey, director of the Georgia Tech Urban Honey Bee Project. “We believe Bee Campus USA certification will provide the institution with an important platform to facilitate wider dialogue on and off campus regarding pollinator awareness and the initiation of student service projects that could benefit the entire city of Atlanta.“
Thoughtful stewardship of honey bees, wild bees, and other pollinators is vital to the economy for many reasons. Not only do honey bees contribute to the honey industry, but they are an essential catalyst for every one-in-three bites of food consumed. Given bees’ importance, bee-friendly practices are being endorsed and celebrated on a local, national, and global scale. As a Bee Campus USA-certified school, Georgia Tech will serve as an invaluable resource for other institutions and individuals seeking to protect vital pollinators.
Said Bee Campus USA director, Phyllis Stiles, "We are very fortunate to have found such an outstanding partner. The Georgia Institute of Technology has already demonstrated its commitment to environmental sustainability. Now their talented faculty, staff, and students are incorporating pollinator education into courses as well as campus events, such as Georgia Tech’s Earth Day celebration, and programs offered through the Urban Honey Bee Project.“
In addition to its outreach programs, Georgia Tech plans to develop a Campus Pollinator Habitat Plan for its 400-acre landscape to include a locally native and pollinator-friendly plant list. The Institute will also implement a least toxic integrated pest management (IPM) plan to be shared as a tool for the community at large.
Georgia Tech’s Bee Campus USA committee consists of a wide range of stakeholders including landscape planners; horticulturists; facilities design, operations, and maintenance staff; science faculty; biosafety and sustainability project staff; and students. According to Leavey, “Through this integration of the diverse set of minds represented on the Bee Campus USA committee, Georgia Tech will develop innovative and sustainable practices that can be applied right here on campus and in similar environments around the world.”
Other educational institutions are invited to complete the application process outlined at beecampususa.org.
About Georgia Institute of Technology
The Georgia Institute of Technology, also known as Georgia Tech, is one of the nation’s leading research universities, providing a focused, technologically based education to more than 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Georgia Tech has many nationally recognized programs, all top-ranked by peers and publications alike, and is ranked among the nation’s top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. It offers degrees through the Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Sciences, the Scheller College of Business, and the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. As a leading technological university, Georgia Tech has more than 100 centers focused on interdisciplinary research that consistently contribute vital research and innovation to American government, industry, and business.
Recent Guildford College graduate, Samantha Derr, began her 10 week internship with Bee City USA on May 4. She is providing invaluable help with Pollination Celebration! 2015 logistics and promotion. Many thanks to the Conservation Trust for North Carolina for this paid internship program.
In 2008, CTNC established the program for minority students with our state’s 10 historically black colleges and universities. Through this program, now expanded to all NC colleges and universities, CTNC, local land trusts, and other conservation groups introduce promising students to careers in conservation and introduce conservation organizations to potential employees.
For more information about the program, contact Melanie Allen, CTNC's Conservation and Diversity Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or (919)828-4199, ext 21.
Bee City USA Certified Cities created with eSpatial mapping software.
Seattle's City Council voted unanimously today to become a certified Bee City USA community, bringing the total number of certified cities to eight! This followed their vote on September 23, 2014 to prohibit use of neonicotinoid-based pesticides on all city-owned and operated land, as this class of pesticide is linked with harm to critical pollinating insects, like bees. The Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle City Light, Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Center, Finance and Administrative Services, Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation and Seattle Public Libraries all made the recommendation to eliminate the use of neonicotinoids at City facilities.
Bob Redmond, owner of the Urban Bee Company and executive director of The Common Acre, which was instrumental in bringing pollinator habitat and art to Sea-Tac airport (the "Flight Path" project), was also instrumental in building a coalition over the past two years in support of Bee City USA certification.
Many thanks to Bob Redmond, Seattle City Council, Seattle City Light, Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation and the countless other pollinator advocates in Seattle for their passion and vision!
Around the world, airports are recognizing the benefits of sharing their open sunny fields with imperiled honey bees. It all started with Hamburg Airport in Germany in 1999. Today, from O'Hare in Chicago, to Sea-Tac in Seattle, to Montreal and Copenhagen, airports are partnering with local beekeepers to offer bees safe foraging areas. Read Danielle Beurteaux' article in the New York Times on Feb. 19.
Sit back and enjoy the beautifully articulated article written by Landscape Designer Danielle Bilot for THE FIELD: The Professional Landscape Architects Network.
Danielle has masterfully explained why Bee City USA was launched: "Urban areas have their own challenges [as opposed to agricultural areas] in creating integrative biological solutions, but cities are in a unique position to create a safe haven for pollinators because of the quantity and dispersal of underused land use types. Roadside strips, medians, surface parking lots, etc. all possess great potential to contribute positively toward natural ecosystems, but currently most hold very little ecological value. We have forgone diversity in the urban landscape for ease of permitting/maintenance, mass plant production techniques, and over-manicured aesthetics."
Thank you, Danielle. We agree, there is much we can do to sustain pollinators in urban and suburban areas.
Breaking news! According to Nursery MANAGEMENT magazine, out of concern for pollinators, Home Depot has led the way for big box stores to require their nursery suppliers to label plants treated with neonicotinoid insecticides.
Home Depot's action represents a major milestone in efforts by pollinator advocates to inform consumers of the systemic pesticides contained in the plants they purchase. It may also bring new meaning to "More Saving. More Doing."
Header photo by: Nancy Lee Adamson
These are the opinions and events of interest to the Bee City USA coordinator and Xerces Society.