Dickinson College has become the 56th higher-education institution in the nation—and only the third in Pennsylvania—to be certified as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program. The certification recognizes the college's numerous efforts to improve habitats for bees and other pollinators through such initiatives as The Hive, recent student-faculty wild pollinator research funded by the USDA and awareness-raising measures like the Adopt-a-Bee program.
The Bee Campus USA program endorses a set of commitments higher-education institutions to create sustainable habitats for pollinators, which are vital to feeding the planet. According to the program's website, "college students, faculty, administrators and staff have long been among the nation's most stalwart champions for sustainable environmental practices. That's why our aim is for Bee Campus USA to become a national movement."
Bee Campus USA is an initiative of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, a nonprofit based in Portland, Oregon, with offices across the country. The initiative's mission is to galvanize campuses to sustain pollinators by providing healthy habitats, rich in a variety of native plants and free of pesticides. Pollinators like bumble bees, sweat bees, mason bees, honey bees, butterflies, moths, beetles, flies and hummingbirds are responsible for the reproduction of 90 percent of the world's wild plant species and one in every three bites of food we consume.
“The program aspires to make people more PC—pollinator conscious, that is,” says 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.”
According to Bee Campus USA Founder Phyllis Stiles, “Each certified campus must renew their certification each year and report on accomplishments from the previous year. Other institutions of higher education are invited to explore completing the application process outlined at beecityusa.org.”
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Published November 19, 2018