The University of Wisconsin–Madison has earned the Bee Campus USA Certification, making it one of 140 Bee Campus Affiliates nationwide. Bee Campus USA, an initiative of the Xerces Society, “…provides a framework for campus communities to work together to conserve native pollinators by increasing the abundance of native plants, providing nest sites, and reducing the use of pesticides.” Students, faculty, administrators, and staff at UW–Madison are working collaboratively to carry out these commitments and make the campus a better place for pollinators of all types.
Pollinators are critical to the health and resilience of our regional ecosystems. They are key to successful agriculture, since 75% of the planets’ food crops rely in part on pollinators. However, due to land use changes, monocultures, and the use of harmful pesticides, 40% of our invertebrate pollinator species face the threat of extinction (FAO PDF).
UW–Madison has over 900 acres of land on its main campus in Madison and manages over 9,000 acres of land across the state. Much of this land, including the UW Arboretum and Lakeshore Nature Preserve, includes beneficial habitat for pollinators. Yet some parts of campus, especially in downtown areas near Park Street and University Avenue, do not provide the same benefits to pollinators. Bee Campus USA is designed to implement pollinator-friendly practices and habitat on all campus lands to support pollinator diversity and health.
UW–Madison’s Bee Campus USA Certification will be maintained by a campus committee. The committee, formed in May 2022, includes representatives from:
- Allen Centennial Garden
- FP&M – Campus Planning and Landscape Architecture
- Department of Entomology
- Entomology Graduate Student Association
- FP&M Physical Plant Grounds
- Office of Sustainability
More details on the certification and committee can be found here.
To maintain the certification, the committee will coordinate yearly action to support native pollinators, including creating new and enhancing existing pollinator habitats, designing signage to identify the habitats, and inventorying educational opportunities that incorporate pollinator conservation.News.