All the way back in January, Nick Dorian got a group of pollinator-enthusiasts together, including myself, to come up with the following short description of what would become the Tufts Pollinator Initiative and our Tufts Green Fund application.
Worldwide pollinator declines threaten food security and ecosystem health. The importance of local solutions to this global problem, such as planting native flowers and reducing pesticide use, has been widely documented. We propose the Tufts Pollinator Initiative (TPI), an educational, ecological, and collaborative plan to bolster pollinator health and promote community awareness on the Medford/Somerville campus. Within two years, TPI will:
- Showcase pollinator-friendly plants on the Tufts campus through interpretive signage and guided campus walks;
- Cultivate 500 square feet of perennial, low-input pollinator habitat which will also beautify our campus;
- Integrate pollinator habitat into interdisciplinary courses (e.g. BIO 51, BIO 185, EXP 21), workshops, and undergraduate research opportunities (e.g. BIO 93/94, BIO 193/194); and
- Secure accreditation for Tufts from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation as a Bee Campus USA, setting a precedent for metropolitan campuses.
We’ve assembled a passionate team of faculty, post-docs, graduate students, and undergraduates with diverse backgrounds in botany, pollinator ecology, and community outreach to ensure that we meet the goals of TPI. #savethebees
In early February, we were excited to hear that we had moved on to the “Revised Proposal” stage in which we had to answer questions about the project. In late February, we were ecstatic to learn we had moved on the to “Final Proposal” stage where we were tasked with outlining impacts of our project. And finally, in early March, along with six other finalists, our team was invited to pitch our project to the Tufts Green Fund committee. We had 5 minutes to convince the Green Fund that our project was worth funding. Boy, did Nick and I practice.
On the day of our pitch, we were grateful for the support we received from both friends and colleagues–it was a great turn out (even for an early Friday morning) and we had a blast talking about our project! And then, we waited…
On Monday afternoon, the email came…the Green Fund had decided to fund our project! We are so appreciative to the Green Fund for supporting our initiative and cannot wait to make Tufts a better place for pollinators! To learn more about our team, visit Meet the Team.
Stay tuned for planting guides, pollinator walks, and posts about pollinator-centric happenings here at Tufts!