Enhancing Pollinator Health & Habitat
Morehead State University works to enhance pollinator health and habitat by following a pollinator protection plan developed by the Bee Campus USA committee. Individuals who maintain our grounds, farm and outdoor classrooms work together to make sure the plan is always followed. MSU has enhanced several areas on campus to protect pollinators and provide more habitat including the outdoor classroom, the Eagle Lake area and the farm.
MSU’s Earthwise Eagles Sustainability Committee, MSU’s Center for Environmental Education and MSU’s Farm work together on projects, clinics and events to educate students and the community about protecting pollinators.
Policies & Practices
Our pollinator protection plan is utilized across campus to ensure that pollinators have access to shelter, food and water and that they are protected from pesticides and herbicides. We use an integrated pest management (IPM) approach that is a sustainable way to managing pests. It combines biological, cultural, mechanical, physical and chemical tools in a way that minimizes economic, health and environmental risks. We strive to maintain a pollinator friendly campus by incorporating bee friendly native plants and trees into our campus landscaping. Our policy is to only use pesticides and herbicides as a last resort and only when necessary to save the life of a valuable tree. We employ all other means including hand picking, natural predators, organic and natural deterrents, and organic products before using anything that may harm pollinators. If we must use a product that may harm pollinators, we only apply it during times that pollinators are not actively visiting the site.
Education & Outreach
The outdoor classrooms are both certified monarch waystations with plenty of native plants for our local pollinators that provide food and shelter. These classrooms are utilized by the MSU Center for Environmental Education and have also been utilized during our Earth Day, Tree Campus USA and Bee Campus USA sustainability events.
This past year the sustainability committee held a Tree Campus USA & Bee Campus USA celebration day in April in the heart of our campus. We handed out bee friendly tree seedlings including black locust, black gum and tulip poplar and milkweed seeds to support our monarch butterflies. We had a chalk it up event in which attendees could draw pictures on the surrounding sidewalk that related to trees and pollinators. We handed out educational brochures on protecting pollinators and the MSU farm sold bee friendly herbs.
We attended the local beekeepers school in early spring with Dr. Jen O’Keefe and handed out free milkweed seeds and information on protecting pollinators. Dr. O’Keefe presented to the local beekeepers about her work typing honey from domestic hives.
We also attended the spring community Family Farm Night at the local high school and passed out free milkweed seeds and information on protecting pollinators.
The MSU Center for Environmental Education conducted pollinator field trips with our local Rowan County Middle School. The Center also helped to facilitate the annual bioblitz with the Daniel Boone National Forest Service and the Corp of Engineers.
MSU Center for Environmental Education teaches tomorrows educators how to incorporate lessons about pollinators and the importance of their protection into their future classrooms. They also reach out to the community and do service learning for elementary, middle and high school groups which includes topics on pollinator importance and protection.
Dr. Jen O’Keefe teaches students how to type honey from domestic hives by identifying spores and making counts of the pollen in the honey.
The MSU Farm has several bee hives that agriculture students care for and use to pollinate the crops and orchard.
We have a permanent two sided sign in the outdoor classroom that details the different types of local pollinators, their importance and how to protect them. We also have a temporary yard sign and a banner with the Bee Campus USA logo that we use during events.