Enhancing Pollinator Health & Habitat
Adopt-A-Spot–Sustain Mizzou has ownership over an Adopt-A-Spot in Columbia. The plants are pollinator-friendly and native. Upkeep include some spring and fall maintenance from project leaders and volunteers. Sustain Mizzou Beekeeping has sponsored a roundabout with native plants for pollinator forage including milkweed.
A.L. Gustin Golf Course pollinator plots—Gustin, Missouri Department of Conservation and Quail Forever/Pheasants Forever all hosted a Youth Pollinator Habitat Enhancement Day from 1–3 p.m. on Feb. 25, 2017, at Gustin Golf Course. Kids ages 7-12 registered. Activities included spreading milkweed seed to improve and enlarge the half acre monarch butterfly habitat, making seed balls to take home and evaluating the bluebird houses. Kids also painted the beehive from The Honeybee Conservancy.
STEMs on the ground—Female high school students from Columbia Public Schools did milkweed plantings at their alma mater elementary schools with the help of Mizzou Botanic Garden. This was an opportunity to highlight the importance of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields, so Mizzou Botanic Garden brought Sara Dykman, who has biked the length of the monarch migration to raise awareness about pollinator decline to speak to the high schoolers about pollinators and inspire them to care about conservation and science.
Jefferson Farm & Gardens—Jefferson has 4 acres of sunflowers, a native butterfly house, 3 acres of native trees, 2 acres of certified wildflowers and 1.5 acres of native wildflowers.
Native bee hotel—Sustain Mizzou and Mizzou Botanic Garden have been working together to build a native bee hotel and place it on Sanborn Field. The structure is repurposed from old materials and will give habitat to native bees and raise awareness about other pollinators.
Native tree trail-–Mizzou Botanic Garden is working on a native tree trail that will provide 12 acres of habitat along Hinkson Creek for pollinators and other wildlife. This is also an effort for Tree Campus USA.
Policies & Practices
Mizzou Botanic Garden publishes all of the featured gardens below on its website, which includes the IPM policies in the FAQ section . As part of the University of Missouri’s Landscaping Master Plan, we have included pollinators in the following ways.
A.L. Gustin Golf Course–A.L. Gustin Golf Course has a habitat management timeline for seeding and shrub establishment and describes seasonal management, pollinator plots, monarch waystations and invasive species removal.
Ozone monitor for pollinator garden—This equipment was secured by a grant from the Sustainability Office. The Ozone monitor will look at the effects of ozone on three plants: milkweed, coneflower and peas. Ozone can negatively affect the way pollinators locate plants.
George Washington Carver Community Garden Project—Mizzou Botanic Garden is designating two community gardens and one demonstration garden for the campus and community part of the educational aspects for the gardens will include pollinator health.
Integrated Pest Management—Mizzou Botanic Garden incorporates Integrated Pest Management into its practices. Recently, Mizzou Botanic Garden has had to train staff on Japanese beetle management with linden trees on campus. Spraying was reduced to benefit pollinators.
The past several years A.L. Gustin Golf Course has improved its Integrated Pest Management. Gustin has tried to spray clover early before it flowers. Preferred method is mowing the flower first before spraying. Gustin hasn’t sprayed any neonicotinoids the last several years while trying to control Hunting Billbugs. Gustin also now sprays a preventative cutworm application on greens which eliminates at least four treatments during the summer. All of this is done with pollinators in mind.
Education & Outreach
The University of Missouri students, faculty and staff have been very involved with pollinator and ecosystem health on and off campus.
Native bee event with Sustain Mizzou–On March 15, 2017, Sustain Mizzou held an educational event about native bees and pollinators. Along with help from Mizzou Botanic Garden, students are constructing a native bee hotel. Stations at the meeting included planting native seeds, painting beehives and drilling holes into wood for the bee hotel habitat. Documentation of these efforts can be found at KOMU 8 News.
Arbor Day Observance—This event took place on April 28, 2017. Students, staff and community members met to plant three trees on campus. In the speeches that students gave, they mentioned that the University of Missouri is a Bee Campus USA affiliate and that this recognition has moved Mizzou Botanic Garden to apply for Tree Campus USA status and continue to advocate for the environment.
Annual Pollinator Dinner—This event took place on June 25, 2017 during National Pollinator Week. This fundraising dinner with a live auction helped raise money for Mizzou Botanic Garden programming, STEMs on the ground and the George Washington Carver Community Garden Project. Mizzou Botanic Garden brought Steve Buback, Missouri Department of Conservation Natural History Biologist to speak to guests about native pollinators and their effect on natural and urban ecosystem health. Dinner was pollinator themed. Grow Native! resource guides and native plants including milkweed were given away to guests.
Sustain Mizzou Pollinator Camp—A group of students learned about birds, bees and butterflies at a regular pollinator camp hosted by Mizzou Botanic Garden. Student ventured to A.L. Gustin Golf Course, Eckles Butterfly Garden and the Sustain Mizzou beehives.
Missourians for Monarchs events—Mizzou Botanic Garden, MU Bradford Research Center and MU College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources all hold seats on the statewide steering committee for Missourians for Monarchs. Mizzou Botanic Garden also helps fund the matched grant with the National Fisheries & Wildlife Foundation for the Missourians for Monarchs Communications Specialist position. This statewide collaborative held two major kickoff events during National Pollinator Week that the University of Missouri helped with. Events included the press conference in the Governor’s Garden and a Monarch & Pollinator Dinner on June 21. A fun, family-friendly education day was help on June 22 at Runge Conservation Nature Center.
4-H Pollinator Camps—Two pollinator camps were held for 4-H students on July 11 and 18. Large groups of students rotated around stations about birds, bats, bees and butterflies.
Jefferson Farm & Gardens native butterfly house—Every weekend in July, Jefferson offered free tours of their native butterfly house at their farm. Master Naturalists & Gardeners from MU Extension helped with this project. Tour times were 10 am – 4 pm on Saturday and 12 – 4 pm on Sunday.
Service-learning tree planting —This event took place on April 21, 2017. Students, staff and community members planted eight native trees near the Katy Trailhead on South Providence Road. Native plants help promote pollinator health. This was an effort to become a Tree Campus USA affiliate, which will pair with our Bee Campus USA affiliate nicely. News coverage of the event has been documented by KOMU 8 News.
Mizzou Alternative Breaks – Spikenard-–A group of 12 students went on a service-learning alternative spring break from March 25 – April 1, 2017 trip to Spikenard Farm & Honeybee Sanctuary. Students learned about biodynamic farming, beekeeping, bee anatomy and habitat. Service work included building habitat on the farm for the bees. Mizzou Botanic Garden is working to have Mizzou Alternative Breaks continue this trip annually.
Waystation from Honors Monarch Tutorial—Students in an MU Honors College monarch butterfly tutorial studied monarch migration. As part of their class, they seeded a way station on Conservation Reserve Program land for a landowner in Kingdom City, Missouri.
Courses, Workshops & Course Content Offered at least Biennially
- MU Honors College – Natural History and the Migration of the Monarch Butterfly
- MU Plant Science – Life of a Garden
- MU Honors College – Materials Culture Class
- Osher Lifelong Learning Institute through MU Extension
- Master Beekeeper Courses through MU Extension
- Integrated Pest Management in Landscaping
Educational signage about pollinator habitat has been placed at the Ozone Garden and the Golf course.
Local Website & Contact Information
Information is distributed through the following media outlets:
- Mizzou Botanic Garden’s and Sustain Mizzou’s FaceBook
- Mizzou Botanic Garden website
- MU News Bureau
- KOMU http://www.komu.com/news/mu-certified-as-a-bee-campus-usa-affiliate
- Will be posted on the MU Sustainability Office website after merger
Contact Adam Steffensmeier at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the University of Missouri’s Bee Campus USA program.