Mizzou Botanic Garden
Mizzou Botanic Garden’s involvement in the pollinator world is respected. The campus is nationally recognized as a botanic garden and has been certified as the 15th Bee Campus USA affilate in the nation. The landscaping uses minimal amounts of fertilizer and has implemented Integrated Pest Management. The grounds host many native plants and even a butterfly garden.
In 2015, MUBG welcomed Chip Taylor from Monarch Watch to talk about the importance of milkweed restoration. Since then, MUBG became involved with Missourians for Monarchs and holds a seat on the statewide steering committee. Missourians for Monarchs is a diverse collaborative that aims to restore the dwindling monarch and pollinator populations within the next 20 years.
MUBG participates in National Pollinator Week annually. In 2016, MUBG hosted its first Native Pollinators Symposium free to the public with speakers such as Doug Tallamy, Mike Arduser, Roy Diblik and Christine Nye. Native plant vendors also were invited to sell plants outside the symposium so attendees could bring the message home. MUBG has hosted two Native Pollinators Dinners with speakers such as Gary Nabhan and Steve Buback. Some of the fundraising from the dinner helps extend pollinator education and Pollinator Day Camps. MUBG has hosted the Boys & Girls Club of Columbia, Columbia Public Schools students and teachers, 4H camps and MU students, teaching them about birds, bats, bees and butterflies. Paired with the camps is a “Pollinators at Mizzou” booklet that has also been distributed to Columbia Public Schools, underserved students in St. Louis, MU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and MU Extension offices.
Students at the University of Missouri also have shown interest in pollinator health. Sustain Mizzou, a student-run 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, started its own beekeeping project. The two hives are located in MUBG’s butterfly garden and are maintained by members of Sustain Mizzou. The project has progressed with support and financial help from MUBG.