Glendale Community College: Bee- and Pollinator-Friendly Campus Designation From Bee Campus USA
Glendale Community College (GCC) has become an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program, designed to marshal the strengths of educational campuses for the benefit of pollinators. According to the Bee City USA website (n.d.), “Bee Campus USA affiliates make commitments to conserve native pollinators. Students, faculty, administrators, and staff work together to carry out these commitments and make their campus a better place for pollinators” (“Bee Campus USA Commitments” section).
GCC is the only college in Arizona to be named as a Bee Campus and joins with other cities and campuses across the country that are united in improving their landscapes for pollinators. To earn this designation, GCC has shown that it works to minimize hazards to pollinators by using nearly no neonicotinoid pesticides, glyphosate herbicide, or other potentially dangerous pesticides. The college’s facilities team also incorporates native plants into the campus landscape, being mindful of their bloom time and habitat needs. GCC's actions as a bee-friendly campus include the following:
- Create and enhance pollinator habitat on campus by increasing the abundance of native plants and providing nest sites.
- Reduce the use of pesticides.
- Offer courses or continuing education opportunities that incorporate pollinator conservation.
- Offer service-learning projects to enhance pollinator habitat.
- Report on annual activities.
“The GCC community of students, faculty, and staff has a very strong commitment to sustainability and conservation,” stated GCC President Dr. Terry Leyba Ruiz. She added,
Our entire campus community is dedicated to implementing and maximizing green efforts; this includes student clubs, the Sustainability Board, and our facilities and landscape teams who work tirelessly to minimize the use of pesticides and chemicals. It is truly gratifying to earn the Pollinator Friendly designation. It really reinforces that our efforts are making a difference.
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 habitats, rich in a variety of native plants and free of pesticides. Pollinators like bumblebees, sweat bees, mason bees, honeybees, 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.
Bee City USA. (n.d.). Bee Campus USA commitments. https://beecityusa.org/bee-campus-usa-commitments
Lead image: Main campus mall at Glendale Community College
John Heckenlaible is Director, Marketing/Public Information Officer, at Glendale Community College in Glendale, Arizona.
Opinions expressed in Member Spotlight are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the League for Innovation in the Community College.