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UNT named Texas’ first Bee Campus USA

UNT named Texas’ first Bee Campus USA

A bee gathers pollen in Denton. UNT

UNT named Texas’ first Bee Campus USA
September 07
18:39 2016

UNT’s sustainability efforts have earned the school a golden title — covered with fuzz and black stripes all over.

As the state’s first Bee Campus USA and 12th in the nation, students have been at the head of the effort to create a bee-friendly campus.  Students are designing a community garden for the main campus and a pollinator space at Discovery Park with resources from the UNT We Mean Green Fund.

Bee Campus USA was started by Bee City USA, a national program that encourages sustainable pollinator habitats.  This sustainability doesn’t just affect the species of focus, but nearly every species on the planet, including humans. Bee populations are declining by 30 percent or more annually, according to the Bee City USA website.

“I am proud of UNT’s Bee Campus USA Certification, because it is recognition for how passionate UNT students are about sustainability,” said Gary Cocke, UNT sustainability director.

In recent workdays, more than 80 students renovated the Ladybird Johnson Memorial Wildflower Garden near Apogee Stadium by transplanting perennials, sowing wildflower seeds, and building a rock border.

“It’s all there to push forward. We just gotta get students involved.” said Victoria Lau, 20-year old junior ecology major and student-leader in UNT’s sustainability program.

Cocke said UNT students can be a part of workdays to support a bee-friendly campus, which include general maintenance, selling seeds, transplanting more native plants, extending the rock border, and pulling weeds.

“This is a great time to meet others interested in the environment,” Cocke said. “All students have the opportunity to get involved. The program is student-focused from start to finish.”

Students interested can join the group on OrgSync, or can sign up for projects at one of the table set up around campus.

“Every project I do, I have two goals for the students involved in the Bee Campus USA program: to be better stewards of the environment, and to provide educational and leadership opportunities for students,” Cocke said.

Lau said she has received many educational opportunities from UNT’s sustainability program and has learned a lot for her major.

“We don’t just recycle. We take the extra step to help the earth and the extra parts that put us together,” Lau said.

The next workdays include September 24 from 9:00 am to noon and October from 9:00 am to twelve. Breakfast tacos will be provided.

“I’m proud that UNT provides the opportunity to students to make our campus more environmentally friendly,” Cocke said. “Graduates and undergraduates will gain experience with the oversight of environmental initiatives. This starts here on campus with students who have taken the charge to make a more bee-friendly campus.”

Featured Image: A bee gathers pollen in Denton. UNT

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Jonathan Lichtenwalter

Jonathan Lichtenwalter

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