College first in Minnesota and 83rd in country to be certified
Inver Hills Community College has become the first educational institution in Minnesota and the 83rd in the United States to be certified as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program, designed to marshal the strengths of educational campuses for the benefit of pollinators. Inver Hills joins more than 150 other cities and campuses across the country united in improving their landscapes for pollinators.
Randi Goettl, director of accessibility resources at Inver Hills and The Bee’s Knees Committee lead, reported that Inver Hills has convened a cross-departmental committee that meets once a month. The Bee’s Knees Committee is dedicated to reviewing the requirements of Bee Campus USA certification and creating a habitat plan all while planning and implementing educational and awareness events for the year.
“When I began working on this project, I saw the potential of engaging students, faculty and staff toward a common cause,” Randi said. “I could have never imagined this high level of support and enthusiasm throughout campus in regards to the Bee Campus USA initiative. The committee and I have a plethora of ideas that we would like to see come to life, including an Earth Day celebration, service-learning projects and growing designated pollinator gardens.”
The Bee’s Knees Committee at Inver Hills takes pride in the college’s commitment to minimizing hazards to pollinators by using nearly no neonicotinoid pesticides, glyphosate herbicide or other potentially dangerous pesticides. Committee members are excited about the opportunities for student research and service-learning. To raise awareness about the plight of pollinators, Inver Hills has plans to publish a Web page to disseminate information to the campus and external communities, including:
- College’s Integrated Pest Management Plan
- List of native plants incorporated into the campus landscape including their bloom time and habitat needs
- Links to student and faculty research into pollinator issues
- Information about upcoming events
More about the Bee Campus USA initiative…
Bee City USA and Bee Campus USA are initiatives of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, a nonprofit organization based in Portland, Oregon, with offices across the country. Bee City USA’s mission is to galvanize communities and campuses to sustain pollinators by providing them with healthy habitat, rich in a variety of native plants and free of pesticides.
Pollinators like bumblebees, sweat bees, mason bees, honeybees, butterflies, moths, beetles, flies, hummingbirds and many others are responsible for the reproduction of almost 90 percent of the world’s flowering plant species and one in every three bites of food human beings consume.
Bee City USA perspective…
“The program aspires to make people more PC—pollinator conscious, that is,” said Scott Hoffman Black, Xerces’ executive director. “If lots of individuals and communities begin planting native, pesticide-free flowering trees, shrubs and perennials, it will help to sustain many, many species of pollinators.”
Phyllis Stiles, Bee Campus USA founder, noted that certified campuses must renew their certification every year and report on accomplishments from the previous year. “Other institutions of higher education are invited to explore completing the application process outlined at Bee City USA,” she added.
Learn more by reading the Inver Hills News story:
Learn more about Bee Campus USA and The Bee’s Knees Committee at Inver Hills by contacting:
Director of Accessibility Resources
The Bee’s Knees Committee Lead