Berea Becomes the 85th Educational Institution in the Nation Certified as an Affiliate of the Bee Campus USA Program

Berea College is now certified as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program.

Long recognized as a leader in sustainability and natural resource management, Berea is the 85th educational institution in the country to be certified for its efforts in creating sustainable habitats for pollinators, which are essential to feed the planet.

“Students, faculty, administrators and staff are among the nation’s strongest advocates for sustainable environmental practices,” said Berea College First Lady Laurie Roelofs, who chairs Berea’s Bee Campus USA Committee. “We are proud of the College’s commitment to minimizing risks to pollinators, such as not using harmful pesticides or herbicides.

Applying for certification as Bee Campus USA coincides with other ongoing practices on Berea’s campus, gardens, farmlands and forestry. Ms. Roelofs has previously established monarch staging posts for migrating butterflies and planted expanded gardens to attract, nurture and provide breeding habitats to mitigate the decline of these important pollinators.

Dan Wilson, a student at Berea College, examines a super honey. (Photo by Berea College)

“One in three bites of food we eat is due to pollinators,” said Wendy Warren, coordinator of Berea College’s Forestry Outreach Center. “We are excited about the opportunities for student research and learning, including creating pollinator habitats with native plants and eliminating invasive species that invade and outgrow bee food and habitat sources. and other pollinators. »

To raise awareness of the plight of pollinators, Berea plans to publish a web page to disseminate information to campus and external communities, including an integrated pest management plan, a list of native plants incorporated into the campus landscape, including including their flowering time and habitat needs, links to student and faculty research on pollinator issues, and information on upcoming events.

Bee Campus USA is an initiative of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, a nonprofit organization based in Portland, Oregon. Its mission is to galvanize communities and campuses to support pollinators by providing them with healthy habitats rich in a variety of native plants and free of pesticides.

Pollinators like bumblebees, sweat bees, mason bees, honey bees, butterflies, moths, beetles, flies, hummingbirds and others are responsible for the reproduction of nearly 90% of flowering plant species in the world.

“The program aspires to make people more aware of PCs, i.e. pollinators,” said Scott Hoffman Black, executive director of Xerces. “If many people and communities start planting pesticide-free native flowering trees, shrubs and perennials, it will help sustain many, many pollinator species.”

According to Bee Campus USA founder Phyllis Stiles, “Each certified campus must recertify annually and report on the previous year’s accomplishments.”

Other colleges and universities are encouraged to explore the certification process described at www.beecityusa.org. For more information on four easy ways to help pollinators, visit xerces.org.

From Berea College

Janice G. Ball