In the first week of class, Gaxiola, Bussan, and King strolled down a paved campus path and got a bird’s eye view of the low grass field along Northeast Avenue Salmon Creek that they saw. intend to transform into a rich wildflower habitat that is perfect for pollinators.
Along the way, they deployed insect nets and glass vials to trap, examine and release bees, wasps and butterflies, while exchanging stories of stings avoided and stings suffered for the cause of the disease. science.
The real work on their Bee Campus project begins in spring 2021 with a detailed inventory of the exact species of plants and pollinators that are already found in this meadow. The trio intend to recruit undergraduates to help with this process and gain real-world field experience. Groups of local naturalists and interested community members can also participate.
Then, in the heat of summer, the group will work with campus facilities and landscaping officials to plow the soil and remove any harmful weeds. This will require heavy labor, careful use of pesticides, as well as “solarization,” which means spreading dark tarps on the ground to trap solar energy and “cook” weeds and seeds in the soil.
After that, the group will endeavor to plant locally sourced native seeds and grasses throughout the area in question, which will make up about half of that field along Northeast Salmon Creek Avenue. (The other half, closest to the road, will likely end up covered with a new building as the campus continues to expand, King said.) Oregon’s sun, yarrow, tufted haired grass, slender cinquefoil and lupine are some of the species the trio have in trouble.