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Making the World Safer for Pollinators One Campus at a Time

Inver Hills Community College is the first educational institution in Minnesota and the 83rd in the United States to be certified as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program.

Contact Information

Randi Goettl
Director of Accessibility Resources
The Bee's Knees Committee Lead

651-450-3884

Bee Campus USA

Inver Hills Community College is the first educational institution in Minnesota and the 83rd in the United States to be certified as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program, which is designed to marshal the strengths of educational campuses for the benefit of pollinators. Inver Hills joins more than 150 other cities and campuses across the country united in improving their landscapes for pollinators.

As a Bee Campus USA, Inver Hills is a proactive participant in a national movement of campuses committed to engaging in pollinator conservation. The college can contribute to affiliate network webinars that promote collaboration as well as teaching and learning opportunities.

As a Bee Campus USA, Inver Hills will be working to:

  • Safeguard and boost pollinators on campus and in the community
  • Protect and advance the environment
  • Improve eating habits
  • Support the economy
  • Collaborate to defend the survival of more than 200,000 pollinator species around the world
    • Pollinators are crucial to the planet's complex food web
    • More than 150 food crops in the U.S. depend on pollinators
  • Raise community awareness on the following pollinator-related topics:
    • Dangers non-native invasive plants bring to local ecosystems
    • Least toxic ways to confront landscaping pest problems
    • Climate change
    • Sustainability
    • Environmental protection
    • Greener living
    • Complexity of the modern food industry global collective
    • Augmenting local food production through expanded pollination
    • Enhancing local plant nursery markets via increased demand for native, pollinator-friendly plants

Bee Campus USA fosters ongoing dialogue to raise awareness of the role pollinators play in our communities and what each of us can do to provide them with healthy habitat.

The Bee Campus USA program endorses a set of commitments, defined in an application, for creating sustainable habitats for pollinators, which are vital to feeding the planet.

College students, faculty, administrators, and staff have long been among the nation's most stalwart champions for sustainable environmental practices. That's why our aim is for Bee Campus USA to become a national movement.

Bee Campus USA is a Xerces Society initiative. The Xerces Society is an international nonprofit organization that protects the planet by conserving insects and other invertebrates and their habitats. The society takes its name from the Xerces blue butterfly, Glaucopsyche xerces, the first butterfly known to go extinct in North America as a result of human activities.

The Bee's Knees Committee at Inver Hills is a cross-departmental working group that meets once a month. Members of The Bee's Knees Committee are dedicated to reviewing the requirements of Bee Campus USA certification and creating a campus-wide habitat plan.

Randi Goettl, Inver Hills director of accessibility resources, is The Bee’s Knees Committee lead. Randi and committee members are planning and implementing annual pollinator educational and awareness events, including a 50th Anniversary Earth Day celebration ( Earth Day 2020: Climate Action) in concert with the college’s Annual Research Conference (ARC) and the joint 50th Anniversary of both Inver Hills and Dakota County Technical College.

Jessica Hellmann, Institute on the Environment director at the University of Minnesota, will be the keynote speaker at the 2020 Annual Research Conference. Randi is working with Erica Wood, geology faculty, to assemble a Green Team on the Inver Hills campus.

The Bee's Knees Committee at Inver Hills takes pride in the college’s commitment to minimizing hazards to pollinators by using nearly no neonicotinoid pesticides, glyphosate herbicide or other potentially dangerous pesticides.

Committee members are excited about the opportunities for student research, service-learning and/or community-based learning projects, connecting with area businesses, creating sustainability connections in academic program curricula, and establishing designated pollinator gardens on campus. Inviting a variety of environmental stewardship experts to campus as presenters and speakers is also in the works.

Randi Goettl, Lead ​Monica Ibarra Rachel Marzahn ​Amanda Barklind
Martin Springborg Scott Klaehn Shane Stroup Hilary Dahlman
Matt Kruger Molly Blake Shannon Williams Mary Thompson
Brenda Lyseng Jenny Schuhwerck Benjamin Dvorak Charlotte Roth
Nicole Bietz Joan Marchio Amy Lofquist  

The Bee's Knees Committee is partnering with the Inver Hills Community College-Metropolitan State University Interdisciplinary Community Garden and Orchard to promote pollinator-friendly activities and research on the Inver Hills campus in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota.

Founded in 2012 by August Hoffman, Metro State psychology faculty, and Barb Curchack, Inver Hills psychology faculty, the Inver Hills-Metro State Community Garden represents a cooperative effort across academic disciplines at both the college and university. Community members are also engaged as gardeners welcome to have their own plots. More to come...

Due to the COVID-19 crisis response, we will plan to have smaller planting events in the upcoming spring and summer seasons. Gardening is an excellent way to promote self-care and offer a sense of purpose in times of stress. The hope is to have dates that we can offer supplies in which individuals can work on our designated pollinator gardens. Dates TBD soon.

Annual Research Conference: Spring 2020

The Bee's Knees Committee is working with the Annual Research Conference Committee to center the event on a collaborative sustainability theme: "Toward Better Lives, Power, Purpose and Common Good."

The date of the conference coincides with Earth Day 2020, which marks the 50th anniversary of the global ecological awareness movement. Both Inver Hills and DCTC are also celebrating their 50th anniversaries. More to come...

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Central Minnesota Native Plant Supplier

Committee Favorite Supplier

Inver Grove Heights Local Supplier – Gertens

Prairie Moon

Minnesota Native Landscapes

Morning Sky Greenery

Bailey Nurseries

Prairie Restoration

Naturally Wildflowers

Wisconsin Options

Dragonfly Gardens is a retail outlet of propagated wetland, woodland, and prairie plants and seeds, both native and non-native. They also offer consultation services and site planning with an emphasis on shoreline restoration. Amery address: 491 State Hwy 46, Amery, WI 54001 | Phone: (715) 268-7660 Turtle Lake address: 1637 1-3/4 Street, State Hwy 63, Turtle Lake, WI | Phone: (715) 986-2211 Email: info@dragonflygardens.net| Web: www.dragonflygardens.net

Kinnickinnic Natives LLC specializes in growing lady’s slippers and local ecotype prairie, woodland, and savanna species from Pierce and St. Croix Counties in Wisconsin and Washington County in Minnesota. Address: 235 State Road 65, River Falls, WI 54022 | Phone: (715) 222-6910 | Email: kinninatives@gmail.com or Wayne, whuhnke@disshup.us | Web: www.kinninatives.com

Lupine Gardens, LLC is a chemical free native plant nursery that sells both plants and seeds. They sell native plants in addition to non-native plants, medicinal plants, vegetables and heirloom plants. They offer design and installation of native landscapes for private projects, government grant work, etc. Address: 880 155th Street, Amery, WI 54001 | Phone: (715) 222-6669 Email: lupinegardens@yahoo.com Web: www.lupinegardens.com

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