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Bladen Community College Becomes a Bee Campus USA

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Dublin, NC – In commemoration of EARTH DAY 2020, Bladen Community College announces that it has become nationally certified as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program, designed to marshal the strengths of educational campuses for the benefit of bee pollinators. Bladen Community College joins more than one-hundred-fifty other cities and campuses across the country united in improving their landscapes for pollinators.

“Our students, faculty, and staff have long been champions for sustainable environmental practices,” Dr. Amanda Lee, BCC President, said. Our Green Technology committee has led efforts to make sure our campus is not only beautiful but also that we are good stewards of our trees, butterflies, and now bees.  Having dedicated, protected spaces and carefully maintained landscapes extends our classrooms as students and faculty learn more about science and what it takes to sustain a healthy environment.”

Bladen Community College takes pride in its commitment to minimizing hazards to pollinators by using nearly no neonicotinoid pesticides, glyphosate herbicide or other potentially dangerous pesticides. To raise awareness about the plight of pollinators, BCC plans to publish information on its webpage and utilize social media to disseminate information to the campus and external communities including a list of native plants incorporated into the campus landscape including their bloom time and habitat needs, links to student and faculty research into pollinator issues, and information about upcoming events.

The committee is excited about the opportunities for student service-learning. Already faculty, staff and students have worked together to study and create pollinator habitat with native plants.

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. Bee City USA’s mission is to galvanize communities and campuses to sustain pollinators by providing them with healthy habitat, 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 many others are responsible for the reproduction of almost ninety percent of the world’s flowering plant species and one in every three bites of food we consume.

“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 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.”

For more information about Bladen Community College’s Bee Campus USA program, contact Kathy McGurgan at kmcgurgan@bladencc.edu or 910.879.5500 .  Other members of the BCC Green Technology Committee are Al Hester, Christine, McDonald, Felisa Williams, Dr. Priscilla Pope, and Jay Stanley, Administration Liaison.

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For more information about Bee Campus USA, visit https://www.beecityusa.org/

For more information about the Xerces Society, visit https://xerces.org/

For information about four simple ways to help pollinators, visit https://xerces.org/bringbackthepollinators/

PHOTO CAPTIONS

Good things continue to happen on Bladen Community College’s beautiful campus during the COVID-19 state of emergency.  The photo is of Bladen Community College’s newly installed Bee Haven sign announcing the campus’ new designation as a Bee Campus USA.    The sign was funded by the BCC Foundation 50/50 Faculty/Staff Mini Grant program and crafted by Mr. Robert Edwards.  Also pictured is one of our bee pollinators at work on BCC’s Campus this spring.  Photo taken by BCC employee, Diane White Vitale.

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