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Projects Updates for Bee Campus USA

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  1. Finalized Bee Campus USA Sign Design

    A 24" by 36" Bee Campus USA sign will be installed at the corner of Florida Avenue and Orchard Street, by the Florida-Orchard prairie, near Orchard Downs and the Presidents’ House.

    The sign includes information about Bee Campus USA, local pollinators, the creation of the prairie zone, and more!

    See the attached file to view a digital rendition of the signage.

  2. Entomology Courses Review

    Associated Project(s): 

    Morgan White reviewed the following Entomology courses with Professors May Berenbaum and Adam Dolezal:

    • IB 105: Environmental Biology
    • IB 335: Systematics of Plants
    • IB 329: Animal Behavior
    • IB 444: Insect ecology
    • IB 451: Conservation Biology
    • IB 468*: Insect Classification and Evolution – being held this fall
    • IB 526: Seminar in Entomology

    *During the review, Professor Berenbaum and Professor Dolezal added IB 468 to the pre-existing list of the other courses.

  3. Seventh Annual BeeBlitz

    Associated Project(s): 

    Calling all citizen-scientists! The Seventh Annual BeeBlitz will be on Saturday, June 26th, 2021 from 9-11 AM CDT! 

    To attend, meet at the Pollinatarium or go bee spotting in a forest, prairie, or backyard near you! Bring your camera or smartphone and be ready to snap photos of honey & bumblebees, then upload them to BeeSpotter to contribute to its database of Midwestern bee spottings.

    Learn more about the BeeBlitz.

  4. Archived Info - Previous Project Background

    Associated Project(s): 

    Interest in this project began in October 2017, at the AASHE Student Summit. Several residents of the Sustainability Living-Learning Community attended a workshop at this summit about the Bee Campus USA movement. These students were inspired by the progress of other universities and decided to start this project on our own campus. From that point on, the Sustainability LLC, Facilities & Services, Red Bison Ecological Restoration (RSO), and the Pollinatarium have collaborated to ensure the success of this project. The application process in this project must be done annually to maintain the Bee Campus USA certification.

  5. Archive Info - Previous Project Description

    Associated Project(s): 

    Bee Campus USA is a nation-wide movement to support pollinators on university campuses. A university that is Bee Campus USA-certified proves that they are progressing in awareness, native plant landscapes, and safe pest management. The Bee Campus committee developed an official web page in spring 2018 and worked with Facilitites & Services to develop a University Habitat Plan. In addition, with funding from the SSC, we will be installing pollinator signage on campus in fall 2018.

  6. Florida-Orchard Prairie Pollinator Signage

    A 24" by 36" blank sign was installed at the corner of Florida Avenue and Orchard Street, by the Florida-Orchard prairie, near Orchard Downs and the Presidents’ House. The information planned to be featured in the sign will originate from the new Bee Campus brochure. This text will highlight the Bee Campus student organization, information about pollinators, as well as university and campus initiatives to be more pollinator-friendly. Thanks to funding by SSC, the signage will be ready for public display by the end of 2021!

    See the attached files to view the installation of the blank sign!

  7. Article: Pollinator Conservation on Solar Farms

    Entomology Today released an article highlighting the strategy and benefits behind pairing solar energy with pollinator habitats. Supporting its claims with UIUC and Iowa State initiatives, the article discusses content such as the scorecard approach, efficiency of the positioning of planted vegetation, and restrictions from geographic locations.

    Read the article on Entomology Today. Or, refer to the PDF of the article in the attached files.

  8. NSRC Pollinator Garden Build

    The 350 square-foot pollinator garden at the National Soybean Research Center is planted! The weather was beautiful and we had a fun time hearing plant stories and learning about our very own native species from Layne Knoche. Check out our Facebook post here. 

    Huge thank you to Layne Knoche, Eliana Brown, and the whole Red Oak Rain Garden team, Eric Green, Michael Dzianott and the Red Bison team, Joey Kreiling, Blake Cedergren, and the From the Ground Up team, and all friends who helped out with the planting. 

    Stay tuned for more fun! 

  9. Free Native Bee Homes from The Bee Conservancy

    Associated Project(s): 

    The Bee Conservancy, an environmental NPO, is handing out hundreds of free native bee homes across the U.S. and Canada in hopes of boosting native bee populations.

    As part of its Sponsor-A-Hive program, the group is offering 500 native bee homes to community-focused organizations that support food growth, education, or ecological conservation. (Two hundred were awarded in fall and 300 are being awarded this spring.) Eligible groups include community gardens, nature centers, schools, tribal organizations, parks, and zoos. According to Guillermo Fernandez, founder and executive director of The Bee Conservancy, "We’re looking for organizations that share our passion to nurture local bee populations, create habitat for them, and support their communities and local food systems."

    Applications are open until the end of April 2021!

     

    Read more about The Bee Conservancy native bee home giveaway in the TreeHugger article.

  10. large sign frame arrived

    Associated Project(s): 

    The large sign frame for the Bee Campus signage was delivered to campus today.

    CUSTOM DOUBLE CANTILEVER DISPLAY (45 DEG)

    Vendor: @03979410 DRM INDUSTRIES CORPORATION

    Workorder: 10845244-001

  11. Scope Change for Pollinator Awareness Sign

    The following scope change was submitted to SSC for the Pollinator Awareness Sign:

    Originally, there were no signs at all on campus showing how pollinator friendly the campus is. Now there are four; and the University is now considered part of Bee Campus USA. Now we want to add a bigger sign outlining the bee campus student organization, progress the campus has made, and changes the university implemented to be more pollinator friendly. This sign will include an acknowledgment of the SSC funding for the signs and for several of the pollinator friendly plantings around campus.

    The funding does not need to be increased, but we are requesting a schedule extension of one year.  The design of the sign is anticipated to take at least one month, so that students can assist with the content development, then the sign will be ordered, and since it may be winter –time when the sign is ready for installation, we may not be able to install it until the spring thaw. Please approve an extension to May 2021.

     

    Read the Scope Change in its entirety in the attached files below.

  12. Article: Rapid Decline of News Coverage for Pollinators

    Craig Chamberlain, a Social Sciences Editor for Illinois News Bureau, released an article highlighting the lack of coverage dedicated to bees in mainstream news. Supporting his article with a study from researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, it was found that the amount of attention dedicated to "pollinator population topics" has significantly declined over several decades.

    Read Chamberlain's article through Illinois News Bureau or the PDF in the attached files!

  13. The Day After Tomorrow: Following Advancements of the New U of I Solar

    CUYSS Team|8/5/2020

    The Youth Climate Justice Forum presents this podcast series in which we will be trying to find ways for all of us to continue to work for climate justice during and after the coronavirus crisis. This week, Caroline and Grace interview Morgan White, Director of Sustainability at University of Illinois Facilities and Services. They are currently working to construct the University’s newest solar farm, building upon what they learned from their last solar project.

    https://youthclimateforum.wixsite.com/summit/podcast/episode/f942d20f/the-day-after-tomorrow-following-advancements-of-the-new-u-of-i-solar-farm

  14. Curtis Road landscaping

    Tom's Mailbag in the News-Gazette included information about the Solar Farm 2.0 landscape buffer: https://www.news-gazette.com/toms-mailbag/toms-mailbag-june-19-2020/article_ddf7f640-1c32-5024-98b0-74d8f4ecaa7e.html

    Curtis Road landscaping

    "Curtis Road from Neil Street and First Street in Savoy,  why are they planting several rows of tree and bushes?

    The work underway in that location is for a landscaped buffer between the University of Illinois' Solar Farm 2.0 site and the village of Savoy, said Morgan White, associate director for sustainability at the University of Illinois.

    "Since the start of the project, the university has incorporated the feedback of nearby residents and businesses in planning aspects to ensure that area is aesthetically pleasing and limits the future visibility of the array directly from Curtis Road," she said. "The buffer was designed by the University Landscape Architect at Facilities & Services, Brent Lewis, and it consists of native trees, shrubs and perennials specifically selected for their aesthetics and pollinator benefits.

    "The trees were funded by the Student Sustainability Committee, and the remaining costs were provided by Facilities & Services and the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment.

    "This extensive buffer planting, along with the 54 acres of native perennials and grasses under the solar panels, will help to establish a diverse pollinator habitat and strengthen ecosystems for local and migratory birds and insects, including butterflies and bees. This effort supports the university's commitment as a 'Bee Campus USA,' proving progress in awareness, native plant landscapes, and safe pest management.

    "When completed, the site will also serve as a demonstration for pollinator-friendly solar arrays, following the requirements of the Pollinator Friendly Solar Site Act, of which the university has taken the lead in creating."

  15. 2020 BeeBlitz

    Associated Project(s): 

    Sixth annual BeeBlitz

    Join us (virtually) on Saturday, June 27, 2020 for the sixth annual BeeBlitz!

    Get involved: Snap, Upload, Contribute!

    Nature lovers and concerned citizens in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio are invited to get outside and snap pictures of honey & bumble bees for BeeBlitz. Then, upload your findings to BeeSpotter, the citizen science project run in collaboration between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Department of Entomology and the Office for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education.

    This event is a perfect candidate for social distancing, as you can go out on your own or in small groups; there's no need to gather in large crowds to go bee spotting!

    What is BeeBlitz?

    The name BeeBlitz is derived from a BioBlitz, an activity in which all of the biodiversity in a specific area is examined, to provide a snapshot in time of the flora and fauna present. During the BeeBlitz, we seek to know what species of honey & bumble bees are seen, and where they are, on this specific day.

    We encourage veteran and aspiring bee spotters alike to venture out on a nature walk and participate in the blitz.

    What can YOU do?

    All you have to do is go outside on June 27, take a few bee photos, and upload them to BeeSpotter. You don't need to upload them immediately; just be sure to select the correct date when uploading. They will automatically be counted as part of the BeeBlitz collection!

    Learn how to get started with BeeSpotter!

    We also encourage parks, schools, museums, and zoos to publicize the virtual BeeBlitz in their local communities. Helpful resources for publicity include the BeeBlitz flier and the list of Suggested BeeBlitz Gear.

    You can help us spread the word about the BeeBlitz by distributing these BeeBlitz announcement fliers to anyone you think might be interested!

    General BeeBlitz announcement flierDownload the general BeeBlitz announcement flier (for Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio)

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