Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

College acknowledged for work to protect bees and their habitat

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bee3Talk about an honor that stings.

Bee Campus USA has announced that Portland Community College is the fourth institution of higher education in the nation to be certified as an affiliate to promote the benefits of pollinators. The designation recognizes educational campuses that commit to a set of practices that support pollinators, including bees, butterflies, birds, and bats, among thousands of other species.

“We are proud to be named the fourth certified Bee Campus USA in the nation,” said PCC Interim President Sylvia Kelley. “There are already many students, faculty and staff working on pollinator health and sustainability issues. The members of our newly formed Bee Campus USA Committee will provide good leadership to these pollinator conservation efforts. We’re all excited about our Bee Campus efforts.”

The college plans to develop a Campus Pollinator Habitat Plan that will include a native and pollinator friendly plant list with regional sources. PCC already utilizes pest management practices at all of its sites and uses pollinator friendly products. Staff are regularly educated on best practices and chemicals are used only as a last resort.

PCC is looking to replace grass with more pockets of perennial flower beds on all of its campuses.

PCC is looking to replace grass with more pockets of perennial flower beds on all of its campuses.

“Imperiled pollinators are responsible for the reproduction of more than two-thirds of the world’s plant and tree species,” said Phyllis Stiles, Bee Campus USA director. “Portland Community College is a stellar example of the influence community colleges can have on their students and larger communities. Their talented faculty, staff and students offer an invaluable resource for the entire community seeking ways to manage ornamental landscapes in more wildlife-friendly ways.”

PCC is looking to replace grass with more pockets of perennial flower beds on all of its campuses. This is on top of PCC growing herbicide and pesticide-free produce for staff, students and the greater community in its two learning gardens at the Sylvania (Southwest Portland) and Rock Creek (Northwest Portland) campuses. The “Organic Gardening” class at the Rock Creek Campus uses the learning garden extensively and has installed native bee houses.

At the Sylvania Campus, biology faculty are using pollen identification to help students learn how to use light and scanning electron microscopes. At the Rock Creek Campus, chemistry and biology faculty are collaborating on a project to extract pollen from honey from the campus’ beehives to determine from which plants the pollen originates.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »

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There are 7 comment for this article. If you see something that doesn't belong, please click the x and report it.

x by Dani Dennenberg 10 months ago

This is a stellar piece and a wonderful learning! It inspires me to join the Bee Campus USA Committee. So happy we are helping our bee friends out. :)

x by Ivan Green 10 months ago

What a great use for our pockets of open space!

x by Peter Seaman 10 months ago

Each of PCC’s four campuses is very different: Rock Creek is more rural (but becoming less rural all of the time); Sylvania is more suburban; and Cascade and Southeast are more urban. When I read the article I wondered if all four campuses are equally invested in bee habitat. I’d be interested in hearing more about what the more urban campuses are doing to support bees. Thanks.

x by Nicholas Fazzolari 10 months ago

This is awesome! Proud to be part of a learning community dedicated to affecting real change in environmental sustainability. Just got greeter by some bees while walking through Cascade Campus. :)

x by Julian Matthews 10 months ago

This is a great plan I was just reading how the pesticides are killing the bees.

x by Anne D. Reeves 10 months ago

Congratulations, and thank you for committing to such an important endeavor. I did not know about this program, but will pass along to my own institution.

x by Anne Olsofka 10 months ago

Odd that there is not one mention of the PCC grounds staff and the all the work they have done towards pollinator habitat.

Grounds ROCKS! They do an awesome job of maintaining every green space at every campus in the district. Pollinator habitat did not happen overnight, it was years of planning and planting by PCC grounds. Thank you!

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