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.
Header photo by: Nancy Lee Adamson
These are the opinions and events of interest to the Bee City USA coordinator and Xerces Society.