Pollinators and CCC
CCC recognizes the important role that pollinators play in our lives. Since 2017, CCC has increased the number of native plants across its campuses and centers through the installation of pollinator gardens and native grass plantings.
The plants chosen are native to Nebraska, making them hardy, low-maintenance, able to endure cold and windy winters as well as hot and humid summers. Plants were chosen to bloom throughout three seasons to attract pollinator insects.
On May 11, 2017, Central Community College's Grand Island Campus was named a Bee Campus USA. Our campus became the 29th school in the U.S. to be given this designation. Later, the college as a whole became designated as a Bee Campus and is currently the only one in the state of Nebraska.
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. 1 in every 3 bites of food we eat is courtesy of insect pollination. Equally important, 90% of all wild plants and trees rely on pollinators for the survival of their species. Pollinators are facing global declines due to loss of habitat essential for food and shelter, diseases and parasites, and inappropriate pesticide use. Bee Campuses work to protect pollinators by raising awareness, enhancing pollinator habitats, and celebrating achievements.
Thanks to a grant from the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, the Columbus Campus added a pollinator garden in August 2017. It is located south of the Facilities Management Office near the orchard trees. The garden is approximately 7,200 square feet and has about 1,460 flowers, grasses and shrubs.
Since Fall 2014, CCC's Extended Learning Services has offered a beekeeping course on the Grand Island campus. The twelve-month long Beginning Beekeeping course meets once a month and introduces students to the honeybee and its environment.
In 2015, beehives were added to the Grand Island campus. These hives enhance the hands-on experience of the beekeeping course and are the base of a pollinator garden and additional programming being established on campus.
In Fall 2017, phase one of a pollinator garden was completed on the Grand Island campus which was funded through a grant from the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum. The garden contains 25 different types of native plants and can be found on the east side of the Center for Industry and Technology building. The garden was designed with the wide variety of groups and events in mind to learn about pollinator habitats, the benefits of pollinators, water-wise practices and sustainable management.
In Spring 2017, two beehives were added to the Hastings campus to further enhance the educational experience with pollinators. One hive is located near the Pawnee corn garden and is managed by the Hastings campus culinary instructor. The second hive is located near the service road and is managed by the Hastings campus agribusiness instructor.
The Hastings HMRM program received a CCC mini-grant for a pollinator garden and planted it in summer 2017. The garden is by the east side of the Dawson Building. It is near the HMRM vegetable garden, which will in turn benefit from the pollinators.
Pollinator Festival - Date TBD for 2020
Stay tuned for more information on the 2020 Pollinator Festival.
Environmental Sustainability Director