GAMBIER, Ohio — Kenyon College has become the 67th educational institution in the nation and the second in Ohio to be certified as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program.
Kenyon joins more than 100 other cities and campuses across the country united in improving their landscapes for pollinators.
As part of its involvement in the Bee Campus USA program, Kenyon will host programming to educate students, employees and the broader local community on the importance of pollinators; develop and implement a plan to maintain a pollinator-friendly campus habitat, and offer opportunities for students to become involved in pollinator protection.
The college also will submit a report each year to Bee Campus USA on its work to be pollinator-friendly.
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 and one in every three bites of food people consume.
College “green centers” include:
– The Brown Family Environmental Center, a 500-acre nature preserve that boasts a certified wildlife garden and a newly established pollinator plot.
– The Kenyon Farm, a mixed crop-livestock operation run by Kenyon students who live on-site and maintain the 11-acre property. The farm allows students to pursue a liberal arts education while gaining hands-on experience in agriculture.
A recent bee hive revival project produced 35 jars of honey this past summer and fall.
– The Kokosing Nature Preserve, a conservation burial ground that offers natural burial options on its 23 acres of restored prairie and woodland.
– The Philander Chase Conservancy, a Kenyon-affiliated land trust that works with local landowners to conserve the rural character and environment of the college’s surroundings. Responsible for the land easements of Kenyon’s green centers, the land trust has been crucial to ensuring that habitat for native wildlife remains in place and continues to grow.
The recent elevation of Kenyon’s environmental studies concentration to a major offers students additional academic opportunities to engage in projects relating to pollinators on and around Kenyon’s campus.
Bee City USA and Bee Campus USA are initiatives of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, a nonprofit organization based in Portland, Oregon, with offices across the country.
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