Pollinator Pockets

Current projects from the Department of Entomology, School of Integrative Biology, and student organizations include:

  • Meadow at Orchard Downs, led originally by Nicole Gamble and the Students for Environmental Concern, and now with the student organization From the Ground Up: This project aims to successfully restore the low-mow site at Orchard Downs to a meadow garden that has more function and biodiversity. This project will incorporate at least 25 native plant species, create habitat for wildlife and pollinators, and increase biodiversity. Other goals of this project are to give students hands-on experience and restoration skills. Additionally, it will be important to educate students and the community about Native American Culture through the land acknowledgment statement.
  • Beekeeping Club Pollinator Gardens, led by Julia Knauz: The Beekeeping Club at the university is working with F&S to start a project to plant pollinator gardens around campus. They will provide labor for planting and funds, and they are currently working on plans for a pollinator garden at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. The garden will be a low-maintenance, yet sizable area to plant native, pollinator-friendly flowers and grasses.
  • Carbon Garden at Davenport Hall, led by Jessica Brinkworth, Asst. Professor in Anthropology and Kyle Boshardy: This garden engages and trains undergraduates in carbon reduction measures, and undergraduate students will maintain it in the Brinkworth lab and the Department of Anthropology. These efforts include composting lab members’ food waste and developing a "Carbon Garden" on campus. The group placed two large no-till, pollinator garden plots on the southeast side of Davenport Hall in the disused space between the building and the adjacent parking lot. These plots, ringed in decomposed gravel and manually watered from a rain barrel, hold native flowering plants and grasses. Signage explaining the garden's purpose and use will educate students on how they can reduce their carbon use in their work and home lives.
  • Foreign Languages Building Garden Renovation, led by Joey Kreiling: The students of Bee Campus USA and From the Ground Up have identified the area surrounding the Foreign Languages Building (FLB) as a site for a highly visible pollinator garden. The goal of this project is to turn the exterior “rock garden” at FLB into a series of native plant gardens and pollinator waystations that can be enjoyed by people and insects alike. Specifically, this renovation will encompass, first, the nine raised beds along the south and east sides of the building, second, the center of the nearby roundabout and the mulched garden area between the basement staircase and the sidewalk next to Foellinger Auditorium, and, third (in yellow), the rock garden space that immediately flanks either side of the southern entrance walk into the FLB. Once the planter beds are planted and growing, the project team will design the second and third phases of the project to turn the space into accessible, educational, and beautiful native plantings. The top priorities of this project are to support our local and migratory pollinator communities and provide educational resources for campus and community courses and organizations.

F&S supports student projects with design and/or review assistance, plus implementation support for a successful project. F&S has also made significant modifications to its plans in managing nearly 1,000 acres of campus landscape to create a more sustainable landscape and improve pollinators' habitat. For example, The F&S Grounds department adopted an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that: allows an acceptable pest level to spur eco-diversity in the landscape, applies biological control, and uses only the safest products possible for effective control of pests when required. F&S has also integrated native and pollinator-friendly plants into the landscapes of new campus buildings and included a list of acceptable plants in the Facilities Standards.