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Berea becomes 85th educational institution in nation certified as affiliate of Bee Campus USA program

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

Long known as a leader in sustainability and stewardship of natural resources, Berea is the 85th educational institution in the nation to achieve certification of its efforts in creating sustainable habitats for pollinators, which are vital to feeding the planet.

“College students, faculty, administrators and staff are among the nation’s most stalwart champions for sustainable environmental practices,” said Berea College First Lady Laurie Roelofs, who chairs Berea’s Bee Campus USA Committee. “We take pride in the College’s commitment to minimize hazards to pollinators, such as not using harmful pesticides or herbicides.”

Applying for certification as a Bee Campus USA coincides with other ongoing practices on Berea’s campus, gardens, farm and forest lands. Mrs. Roelofs previously established monarch waystations for migrating butterflies and planted expanded gardens to attract, feed and provide breeding habitats for them in order to alleviate the decline of these important pollinators.

Berea College student Dan Wilson examines a honey super. (Berea College photo)

“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 service-learning, including creating pollinator habitats with native plants and removing invasive species that crowd out and overtake the food and habitat sources of bees and other pollinators.”

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

Bee Campus USA is an initiative of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, a nonprofit organization based in Portland, Ore. Its mission is to galvanize communities and campuses to sustain pollinators by providing them with 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, hummingbirds and others are responsible for the reproduction of almost 90 percent of the world’s flowering plant species.

“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.”

According to Bee Campus USA founder Phyllis Stiles, “Each certified campus must renew their certification annually and report on accomplishments from the previous year.”

Other colleges and universities are invited to explore the certification process outlined at www.beecityusa.org. For information about four simple ways to help pollinators, visit xerces.org.

From Berea College

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One Comment

  1. M. Fish says:

    I am a lifelong resident over the past 10 years berea College has cut down every flowering tree around every building calling them invasive species well they’re not invasive to bees this college is so full of shit it stinks for years local high school students were allowed to attend the college but yet years ago they banned them the city high school is been around as long as the college this college is all about money now when you look in all the parking lot at their building for their students you see mom and dad‘s Beamers Volvos and all the cars it is turned into the school for rich hello nice kids and very few Appalachian students there a sham! In the last month they have clear-cut a total green space bald to build a new physical plant when they have open areas with no trees no plans or anything growing if they could’ve built his physical plane but yet they cut I can’t remember all the big three and 400-year-old trees that were down there in the shrubbery the provided food for bees this is a joke They have put up big signs on these old farm fields and put irrigation ditches in and Call it organic gardening But for 30 and 40 years they were sprayed with pesticides and corn grew there he’s not care about the citizens of the community they are hiding that the city is a drug Drug infested city with a huge homeless problem and they do not help with any of it they do not want to be associated with it it would tarnish the reputation we recently had his city councilman resign over his embezzlement of money at the college but no one ever knew a thing just the locals and on top of that they have a college crosswalk across a major highway and I’m surprised someone has not been run overThere’s not even a flashing light to warn you to slow down and our town is riddled with drug attic’s driving on mobiles it is just a matter of time before someone is killed because students can’t walk 50 yards down to the light and cross the street I could go on and on

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