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Projects Updates for Bee Campus USA
- Associated Project(s):
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.
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."
Sixth annual BeeBlitz
Join us (virtually) on Saturday, June 27, 2020 for the sixth annual BeeBlitz!
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!
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!
SOLAR FARM LANDSCAPE BUFFER
F&S representatives shared detailed designs for the pollinator supportive landscape buffer along the future Solar Farm 2.0 site to the Village of Savoy. Village leaders were pleased with the design plans and thanked us for being responsive to their neighborly request. When completed, this site will serve as a demonstration for pollinator-friendly solar arrays, following the requirements of the Pollinator Friendly Solar Site Act (Illinois Pub. Act 100-1022). Solar Farm 2.0 will produce approximately 20,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) annually, and will generate the equivalent electricity use of more than 2,000 average American homes.
BEE CAMPUS USA
F&S collaborated with students in the Bee Campus committee to complete the renewal of our Bee Campus USA designation in February; Illinois originally earned recognition in 2018 becoming the first B1G school to do so. This process includes using integrated pest management, installation of native plantings, student living lab projects, and outreach.
- Associated Project(s):
I-Pollinate is a citizen science research initiative, through the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, designed to collect state-wide pollinator data. I-Pollinate enlists citizen scientists to participate in three research projects and collect data on monarch egg and caterpillar abundance, pollinator visitation to ornamental flowers, and state bee demographics. If you are interested in participating and want more information, visit the website site at https://ipollinate.illinois.edu/.
East Central Illinois Master Naturalists just formed a Pollinator Taskforce. They are focused on getting more pollinator plants into the community and planning programs associated with pollinators and pollinator plants.
The Extension team created some wonderful handouts that have native plant suggestions for 5 types of habitat. We have been handing those out like crazy. PDFs can be found at (https://extension.illinois.edu/cfiv/pollinator-pockets).
We have the pollinator pocket program (see link above)
Educational Programs held (just ECIMN, does not include programs organized by master gardener programs):
March 18, 2019 – Making Pollinator Habitat Work on the Modern Landscape
May 16, 2019 – Wildflowers
July 15, 2019 – Champaign Prairie Areas
July 22, 2019 – Buzz on Native Bees
August 19, 2019 – Illinois Monarch Project
January 27, 2020 – Native Plants in the Landscape
They just had a table at the Mudpuppy festival and had information on pollinators for children
The Master Gardener program in Vermilion County is mostly organic (unless something crazy happens). The Master Gardeners in Champaign put in a native pollinator garden last year at the IDEA garden on campus.
In the training for MG and MN we talk about pollinators, native plants, and pest management.
- Associated Project(s):
University Landscape Architect, Brent Lewis, provided an overview of recent efforts to make the U of I campus more pollinator friendly at the CCNet brown bag lunch this month. Topics included:
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program
- Living Learning Labs
- Facilities Standards / Green Infrastructure
- Bee Campus USA designation
- Solar Farm 2.0 plantings
- Landscape Master Plan
You can watch his presentation on Facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/champaigncountynetwork/videos/512740266019591/. Join the CCNet Mailing List to stay informed about Champaign County sustainability efforts and to meet local sustainability professionals, like Brent.Attached Files:
Sara Mason, Chantelle Hicks, and Morgan White discussed revisions to the Bee Campus USA web presence. For ease of maintenance, the iCAP Portal seems to be a more friendly process for providing updates and keeping the web content current and active. Sara could do the entries this year, and future students could do entries in the future years. The updates can also be shared on other websites, when requested. Sara will bring this idea back to the student committee, for a decision.
This meeting is open to anyone on campus interested in supporting local pollinators.
We are meeting tomorrow from 1:30-2:30 at F&S with both advisors and students from the Bee Campus USA committee. Chantelle sent the invite, but there are more people than can fit in the room she sent, so please join us in the Garage and Car Pool building conference room. This is in the building at the southwest corner of Oak and Kirby.
Our agenda is as follows:
- Overview of the Bee Campus USA 2018 submitted plan (attached)
- review the draft signage for small Bee Campus USA signs and proposed placement (attached)
- discuss a student project related to future expansion of the Pollinatarium, with guest Namita Johri
- review annual renewal requirements (see attached)
The students on the Bee Campus committee met to discuss their plans for this year.
Join us on Monday, July 22 at noon at the Champaign Ext. This seminar is part of our Lunch with an Expert series with Maddy Kangas, a master's student from NRES, as our expert on native bees. There will be a short presentation on native bees in East-Central Illinois followed by your photos and questions. Do you need help with identification or more information? Bring your questions and your lunch.
Amanda Christenson . Cooperative Extension Service
Champaign County Master Gardeners present Children's Intro to Butterflies on Sat., July 20, 9:15 or 10:30 a.m., at the Idea Garden on S. Lincoln Ave. in Urbana. Ages 5-9. Limited to 24 per session. We will begin with a short educational lesson on butterfly anatomy, metamorphosis, and identification. They will then paint a flower pot to take home. https://go.illinois.edu/ButterflyProgram
Tabitha Elder . Cooperative Extension Service
This Pollinator Map is provided through the support of the University of Illinois Bee Campus USA Committee. It is intended to identify areas on campus that support our local and migratory pollinator populations. This information supports campus master planning.Attached Files:
From: White, Morgan
Sent: Wednesday, April 3, 2019 7:47 PM
Subject: [bee-campus] Bee Committee meetings
Hello Bee Committee,
The student chairperson, Sara Mason, met with me, Brent Lewis, and Vince Spagnola today. We talked about the signage plans, committee meetings, funding options, potential events, and tracking progress (such as meeting notes) on the iCAP Portal.
We also set up this email list, so Sara can let the faculty and staff members know when a committee meeting is planned. Next time she calls a meeting, she will send it to this list.
The Fall 2018 semester was used as a planning stage for the Bee Campus signage project. On November 15th, the Bee Campus USA committee met to discuss the content and design on each of the permanent signs. Additionally, we discussed locations to consider for placing the signage. During Spring 2019, I plan to have the locations of the signage approved by March. Purchasing and orders should be completed by April.Attached Files:
We have bought the bees and hives, installed the bees, and built the fence around the hives. The bees were not established enough to take much honey from them so we stayed on the safe side and allowed the bees to keep all their honey for overwintering. Recently we bought two more hives and are hoping to split our current hives to have a total of 4 hives at the sustainable farm. As the bees now have foundation built up they should start producing more honey and brood than last year, and we are expecting to be able to harvest ample honey next Fall.
- The first meeting was held on 1/31/2018 with the full committee, and the agenda focused on the overall plans for 2018. The chair reviewed the responsibilities of the committee and delegated responsibilities to each committee member.
- At the 2/14/18, 3/7/18, and 3/28/18 meetings, we planned the content and display of the Bee Campus web page. All code and design were done by two student committee members.
- At the 2/21/18, 3/21/18, and 4/22/18 meetings, we planned the first annual pollinator-awareness event. It was decided that the event would be a film screening and trivia night.
- The integrated pest management plan was developed via email exchanges.
- At the 5/10/18 meeting, we planned the habitat plan and permanent signage.