Certification under the Bee Campus USA initiative allows academic institutions and their faculty, students, administrators, and staff to be driving leaders in pollinator conservation. Certification confers wide recognition as a campus that actively practices pollinator sustainability. Bee Campus USA is a powerful initiative that encourages academic institutions across the United States to engage in sustainable pollinator conservation on their very own campuses. Bee Campus USA assists in creating the space for enhancing habitats, restoring ecosystems, and better conserving pollinator species. Certification can improve college campuses on an environmental, educational, and community level through adherence to seven pillars and eight commitments relating to pollinator conservation practice.
Bee Campus USA
The University of Michigan is one of the many universities in the United States certified in pollinator sustainability. Bee Campus USA, an initiative created through the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, gives college campuses the opportunity to become certified academic institutions practicing sustainable pollinator conservation. After completing a set of requirements, an application, and accepting the commitments established by Bee Campus USA, The University of Michigan has become certified as a collegiate campus implementing successful and sustainable pollinator conservation practices.
7 pillars of pollinator conservation practice
1. Ensuring the survival of vital animal species that are crucial to our planet’s complex food web
2. Improving local food production by raising community awareness of how our food grows and improving local food production through expanded pollination
3. Stimulating the local plant nursery market through increasing the demand for native, pollinator friendly plants
4. Engaging and mobiziling communities to remove non-native invasive plants to make way for locally native plants
5. Addressing pest problems less toxically by raising community awareness on the least toxic and harmful ways to deal with home and garden pest problems
6. Heightening awareness of biological diversity through raising community awareness of the local environment’s seasonality as understanding grows about pollinator’s reliance on a diversity of plants and trees
7. Increasing small business opportunities by supporting the growth of niche business- pollinator friendly landscaping, beekeeping suppliers, chemical-free lawn care, and native seed suppliers
8 COMMITMENTS of bee campuses
1. Establishing a standing Bee Campus USA committee to advocate for pollinators
2. Creating and enhancing pollinator habitats on campus by increasing the abundance of native plants and reducing pesticide use
3. Offering service-learning projects to enhance pollinator habitats
4. Display signage focused on pollinator conservation
5. Offering courses or continuing education opportunities that incorporate pollinator conservation
6. Maintaining an online prescence for your Bee Campus USA activities
7. Pay an initial application fee and annual renewal fee
8. Annually apply for renewal and report on the previous year’s activities
Students, faculty, administrators, and staff at the University of Michigan successfully work together to carry out these commitments and further enhance the university’s campus to being a better place for pollinators and their habitats to thrive.
Photo Credit: Savanna Delise