EUGENE, Ore.—Lane Community College Main Campus is now a certified affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program that benefits pollinator species. Lane is the fifth college to be certified in Oregon, joining PSU, PCC, SOU and UO; and the 70th campus nationwide. Lane has been working on certification since fall 2018, although efforts to promote healthy pollinator habitat on campus have been ongoing for over a decade.
“Our students, faculty, leadership and staff are longtime champions of sustainable practices,” says President Margaret Hamilton. “We are proud of our Bee Campus certification.“
Sustainability Coordinator Luis Maggiori says LCC’s Bee Campus Committee has conducted several activities to make the campus a pollinator friendly habitat, including:
- • using no neonicotinoid pesticides;
- • using almost no glyphosate herbicides;
- • planting specific native Willamette Valley plants good for bees local pollinators;
- • partnering with the local agencies and institutions Willamette Valley Pollinators to provide educational discussions and workshops.
“One of our goals as a Bee Campus is to help learners understand that pollinators are a linchpin in the survival of living systems, both human and nonhuman,” says Maggiori. “We want to help people move beyond the popular focus on domesticated honeybees and recognize that hundreds of native insect species in our bioregion are even more efficient pollinators than domestic bees and their habitats are often at risk due to adverse human impacts.” He says a diversity of pollinator species creates a greater chance of recovery from disease, extreme weather, and climate change. Conservation of native pollinator species plays an important role in food security, he adds.
Bee Campus USA is an initiative of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, a nonprofit organization based in Portland, Oregon. Pollinators from bumble bees to hummingbirds are responsible for the reproduction of almost 90 percent of the world's flowering plant species.
Scott Hoffman Black, Xerces’ executive director, says, “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.”
Bee Campus USA founder Phyllis Stiles says, “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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Lane Community College educates over 25,000 students annually at six locations across Lane County and online. Students and alumni from all 50 states and 79 countries create more than an $850 million dollar impact on the local economy, helping to support more than 13,000 local jobs. Lane provides affordable, quality, professional technical and college transfer programs; business development and employee training; academic, language and life skills development; and lifelong personal development and enrichment courses.