SU Students Update Council On Berlin’s Bee Friendly Efforts

SU Students Update Council On Berlin’s Bee Friendly Efforts
After Salisbury University seniors built the bee boxes, students from Berlin Intermediate School painted them. Photo by Charlene Sharpe

BERLIN – Salisbury University students outlined their efforts to help make Berlin bee friendly at a meeting this week.

On Monday, students from Sarah Surak’s Environmental Studies senior seminar at Salisbury University (SU) told members of the Berlin Town Council about the various ways they’ve helped the town work toward its goal of promoting pollinators as a Bee City USA affiliate.  The students spent the past semester thinking up ways to raise awareness, planning for pollinator gardens and creating promotional materials.

“We hope we’ve given the Berlin community a good strong place to start,” student Megan Buonpane said.

Just as students last spring supported the town’s initial effort to become a Bee City, students this fall partnered with the town to suggest specific ways to bring more bees to Berlin. Students in the senior seminar class broke into three groups to target social media promotion, pollinator gardens and educational materials.

“Each group collaborated with a variety of stakeholders during this process and by doing so were able to create a project that will support Berlin’s Bee City USA status,” student Maddison Workman said.

Workman’s classmate Dean Keh said his group created a stockpile of bee facts that could be shared via social media to generate interest in the cause. His group also created a video highlighting the importance of pollinators and at the same time showcasing Berlin Falls Park.

“Berlin Falls Park has a bright, promising future and I wanted to display the potential,” he said.

Student Casey King told the council her group had created an easy-to-follow template for anyone interested in creating a pollinator garden. King said the town would be using the template to establish several pollinator gardens in Berlin Falls Park during 2019’s Take Pride in Berlin Week.

“While it’s important incorporating the pollinator gardens into highly visible and natural landscapes such as Berlin Falls Park, long-term pollinator success depends on access to pollinator plants throughout the whole community,” King said. “We hope that after community members visit the Berlin Falls Park garden, they’ll find inspiration to plant their own garden.”

For the educational aspect of the project, Buonpane said her group created potential signs and pamphlets outlining the importance of pollinators.

“As they travel from flower to flower collecting nectar, they simultaneously transfer pollen,” the pamphlet, which is now available in the town’s visitor center, reads. “Every one in three bites of the food we eat are pollinated from bees.”

Workman’s group also created a sculpture of a bee, made from post-consumer products, that is now on display in the visitor center and collaborated with Berlin Intermediate School to build bee boxes that will eventually be installed in Berlin.

Students told the council they appreciated the opportunity to work with the municipality on such an important initiative.

“We have learned a lot over the course of the semester,” Workman said. “We are incredibly grateful to have been able to work with a town that is motivated and passionate about bringing in sustainable initiatives and spreading information on how individuals can improve their impact on this earth.”

Town Administrator Laura Allen praised the work of the SU students and said the town would be continuing its partnership with the college as it considered sustainability initiatives in the future.

“We’re very impressed with the work they’ve done,” she said.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.