In recognition of its commitment to raise awareness and enhance a habitat for pollinators, Raritan Valley Community College has been certified as a Bee Campus USA affiliate. RVCC is the first college in New Jersey, and the 15th in the country, to receive this designation.
The Bee Campus USA 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.
“Imperiled pollinators are responsible for the reproduction of three-fourths of the world’s plant and tree species. Raritan Valley Community College is a stellar example of the influence educational institutions can have on their students and the broader community. Their talented faculty, staff, and students offer an invaluable resource for Hunterdon and Somerset County residents in seeking ways to manage ornamental landscapes in more wildlife-friendly ways,” said Phyllis Stiles, director of Bee Campus USA.
The Bee Campus USA affiliation is an example of the College’s ongoing commitment to sustainability. RVCC adopted integrated pest management as part of its 2009 environmental stewardship agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency—the first such agreement the agency signed with a community college. The College is committed to planting only native vegetation and has planted milkweed and other pollinator-friendly plants to support the monarch butterfly and other pollinators. The campus also has been certified as a Colossal Monarch Waystation by Monarch Watch. The Environmental Club maintains an organic garden, which relies on bees for pollination.
In commemoration of Campus Sustainability Month, this October RVCC sponsored a science seminar about pollinator-friendly landscapes, given by Amy Rowe, an expert from the Rutgers Cooperative Extension. RVCC offers courses that educate students about bees, and its award-winning Service Learning program offers students the opportunity to work in rain gardens and on other environmental projects on campus.
For additional information about Bee Campus USA, visit www.beecampususa.org.
Raritan Valley Community College’s main campus is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.