By Brenna Gardner, Food Waste Reduction Intern, and Jade Chalkley, Sustainability Fellow
October has kicked off highlighting some of the most important animals on the planet: pollinators. We hosted two fantastic events, coming to a close with a BIG announcement.
On October 2, the Office of Sustainability and Landscape Services hosted a Pollination Celebration. The event included a talk from Mitch Robinson of Strawberry Plains Audubon Center as well as a planting of a brand-new pollinator garden. This garden, called was made possible through a donation by Stephen King, a 1975 graduate of the Business Administration program. It was planted by students, staff, faculty, and community members to support pollinators on campus.
Check out photos from Pollination Celebration below:
In addition to the Pollination Celebration, the Office of Sustainability hosted our annual Food Day Festival and Farmers Market on October 10! In an attempt to showcase and interest students, faculty and staff in local foods and businesses, 13 vendors and participants from North Mississippi set up displays outside of the Student Union. Through participation in a scavenger hunt, students and employees were encouraged to engage with vendors and learn about sustainable agriculture, local markets, food insecurity, water tables, and much more. The market was a hit with an estimated engagement of 200 individuals, with at least 40 percent engaging with four of more booths, based on estimations and counts. Students and employees alike were delighted to stumble upon Food Day and discover not only delicious samples but also new facts about their local food system!
Food Day Photos:
During the Food Day Festival, we also received confirmation the University of Mississippi is now a certified Bee Campus USA affiliate. UM is now the 81st educational institution in the nation to be certified, joining more than 150 other cities and campuses across the country united in improving their landscapes for pollinators. Bee City USA and Bee Campus USA are initiatives of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, a nonprofit organization based in Portland, Oregon, with offices across the country.
By becoming Bee Campus Certified the University of Mississippi will be accountable to create sustainable and healthy habitats for pollinators as well as examine current practices and educational programming. Read more about what the University of Mississippi is doing as apart of Bee Campus and Initiatives that are already going on here!