Bee Campus USA
Southwestern University is recognized as a Bee Campus USA college after meeting the requirements outlined by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation to be a certified pollinator-friendly campus.
Bee Campus USA is an initiative of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation that provides recognition for universities in the U.S. that are committed to preserving local biodiversity through protecting native pollinator habitats, limiting the use of synthetic pesticides, and engaging in public awareness initiatives. Southwestern University is the 1st campus of our peer institutions, 7th campus in the state of Texas, and 87th campus in the nation to have attained Bee Campus USA certification.
Southwestern University’s Sustainability Committee has taken oversight over Bee Campus USA, to ensure that Southwestern continues to follow its guidelines and apply for renewal each year.
Bee Campus USA requires all certified campuses to have their least-toxic Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan and Native Plant List with regional sources publicly available. Southwestern University’s IPM and Native Plant List are available below.
Campuses are required to host at least one event annually to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators and to acknowledge the institution’s certification as a Bee Campus USA institution. Past and future events are described below :
Bat House Reveal Ceremony, Spring 2020
- We plan to have an educational lunch talk about bats featuring local bat experts and reveal our Green Grant funded BatBnBs to the campus community. The tentative date is Fri, 04/17/20.
Sustainability Fun on the Mall, Mon 10/21/19
- Part of Campus Sustainability Week at Southwestern, Bee Campus USA shared a booth with the Garden Club and handed out pollinator plant seeds with informational sheets to those who stopped by.
Garden Day, Sun 10/20/19
- Hosted by the Garden Club, this workday in the Garden was focused on planting pollinator-friendly, drought-resistant plants in one of the main beds.
Bee Campus USA requires the annual sponsoring and tracking of student service-learning projects by students, faculty and/or staff to enhance pollinator habitats on- and off-campus. These may or may not be part of the courses offered by Southwestern. These projects are described below:
Garden Day, Sun 10/20/19
- Hosted by the Garden Club, this workday in the Garden was focused on planting pollinator plants in one of the main beds. Lance Roberson, the Greenhouse Caretaker/Technician, gave a talk on the importance of pollinators to our ecosystems, as well as the importance of pollinator plant species for them.
From Farm to Table FYS, Fall 2019
- This course focuses on the myriad issues surrounding food and how it is produced and is in part dedicated to the importance of pollinators in worldwide food production. The course involves a Community-Engaged Learning Project, which varies by group; in Fall 2019, two groups worked in the SU Community Garden, primarily by weeding and removing other invasive plants so that natural pollinator species could move in.
Creation of Protected Native Habitat, Fall 2019
- As part of their capstone project, the Environmental Studies Bee Campus USA capstone group, with permission from Facilities, designated an area east of the athletic fields and bordering the walking trail as a “Protected Native Habitat.” The area has not been mowed or otherwise maintained by Facilities for decades, and now has an official designation by SU so that it remains protected.
Southwestern offers a number of workshops and courses focused on pollinators. The Garden Club hosts many workshops and Garden Days throughout the year, some of which are directly focused on the planting of pollinator-friendly plant species. Additionally, courses such as the From Farm to Table FYS (UST05-014-20) and Sustainable Food and Agriculture (ENV49-484-01) are in large part dedicated to the importance of pollinators.
Campuses are required to post signage regarding pollinators to educate the campus and broader community about pollinator-friendly landscaping principles.
The certification of Southwestern University as a Bee Campus USA institution was accomplished through a Fall 2019 Environmental Studies capstone project, including Samantha Buehler, Karonech Chreng, Katey Ewton, Abbigail Lloyd, and Spencer Kleypas, as well as with support from Facilities Management, the Sustainability Committee, and their advisor, Dr. Joshua Long.