EUGENE, Ore -- The University of Oregon has become the 46th educational institution in the U.S. to be certified as a Bee Campus USA. The announcement was made during National Pollinator Week, June 18-24.
The university has taken steps to start conversations around decisions that would impact bee health and survival on campus, which includes planting patches of native plants and not using neonicotinoid pesticides that are harmful to pollinators.
"After learning about the importance of native pollinators and their alarming population declines, students were excited to make a difference this spring by removing invasive species and planting native vegetation for pollinators, and our community partners were impressed by their hard work and dedication," said Debbie Schlenoff, UO Bee committee member and course instructor in Conservation Biology.
Over a dozen university courses include pollinators in their syllabi, and Bee Campus certification will enable a multi-disciplinary approach to pollinator health. The university is also launching a web page to share pollinator information with students and community members.
Each certified campus must reapply each year and report on accomplishments from the previous year.
"We want to make sure we're creating a healthy environment both for these beneficial insects and for ourselves because we're interdependent. We rely on bees to create the food that we eat," said Lisa Arkin, Executive Director at Beyond Toxics.
As part of National Pollinator Week, Beyond Toxics is co-hosting Bee Jazzy, a benefit concert at Silvan Ridge Winery. Internationally-acclaimed jazz singer Halie Loren will headline the gala on Thursday, June 21, at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Proceeds from event co-hosted by Mountain Rose Herbs and GloryBee will benefit the Save the Bees Oregon campaign. Click here for Bee Jazzy ticket information.