BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Central Oregon Community College earlier this year was named a Tree Campus USA -- and now it's been designated a Bee Campus USA as well.
COCC recently received Bee Campus USA designation from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation for its dedication to improving landscapes for pollinators.
Among its efforts, the college has planted pollinator-friendly native plants, created gardens, regulated pesticide usage and disseminated information about habitat and pollinator issues to internal and external audiences.
COCC becomes just the sixth college or university campus in Oregon to be an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program.
“Many pollinator species — about 40% — are facing potential extinction in the coming years due to things like shrinking habitats and pesticide practices,” said Noelle Copley, COCC’s sustainability coordinator. “At COCC, we’ve done things to help mitigate that, like planting a milkweed garden and other native flowering plant gardens and trees on the Bend campus and developing an integrated pest management plan that stresses prevention and limits the use of pesticides.”
According to the Xerces Society, a national nonprofit organization based in Portland, pollinators such as bumble bees, sweat bees, mason bees, honey bees and others are responsible for the reproduction of almost 90% of the world’s flowering plant species and one in every three bites of food.
There are 140 Bee Campus USA affiliates across 45 states. Bee Campuses renew their affiliation each year and report on accomplishments from the previous year.