Clark College newly certified by Bee Campus USA  

Have you heard the latest buzz?

Just in time for Earth Day, Clark College was certified as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program on April 20, joining 165 other college campuses and 179 cities across the country united to make their landscape attractive to pollinators.

“Through a variety of sustainability initiatives, college students, faculty, and staff have championed creating environmentally friendly campuses,” said Clark College President, Dr. Karin Edwards. “I was fortunate to help sow wildflower seeds on campus in early spring. I anticipate that we will be enjoying beautiful native wildflowers—and seeing more bees on campus—in the coming months.” 

Biology Professor Steven Clark is coordinating the college’s Bee Campus initiative and has led the college in laying groundwork, such as planting native wildflowers, to make the campus more attractive to bees and other pollinators.

“Bee Campus helps bees because we provide food and habitat for bees,” Clark said. “But it may help humans more because we learn how to live in harmony with nature.”

Pollinators—including mason bees, bumblebees, butterflies, moths, beetles, flies, and hummingbirds are essential for the planet. They are responsible for the reproduction of almost 90% of the world’s flowering plant species and 30% of our food.

As part of the college’s Bee Campus initiative, it is offering opportunities for student research and service learning. Faculty, staff, and students have worked together to study and create pollinator habitat with native plants.

As a certified Bee Campus, Clark College will offer education to students and community members about the region’s native pollinators, potentially via biology labs, community science research contributions, environmental science service learning, Continuing Ed seminars, and Bee Units offered to nearby elementary schools.

During Clark’s Take Your Child to Work Day event on April 27, he led a group of college employees and their children on a bee walk just outside the front door of the STEM Building. Within minutes the kids were identifying and counting mason bees, bumblebees and more.

Professor Clark will teach two Clark College community education courses focused on bees and their habitat. Bee Walks and Bee Lives begins May 26. Bee Walks and Bee Biology begins June 6. Both courses include classroom time followed by a “bee walk” around campus.

Bee City USA and Bee Campus USA are initiatives of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, a Portland-based nonprofit. Bee City USA’s mission is to galvanize communities and college campuses to sustain pollinators by providing healthy habitat, rich in a variety of native plants that are free of pesticides.

For more information, visit: