VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University recently signed a pledge to continue its commitment to using neonicotinoid-free insecticides – a product with harmful environmental impacts – on its campus. The pledge, called BEE Protective, is a joint venture organized through the Center for Food Safety and Beyond Pesticides. Villanova became the second campus in the nation to sign the pledge.
“For Villanova, sustainability is not just about energy and recycling,” said Liesel Schwarz, Villanova’s Sustainability Manager. “We look to make all aspects of campus life sustainable, including how we treat our campus grounds. This recognition only further solidifies the wonderful work our grounds department has done to not only make the campus beautiful and inviting for people, but also for pollinators.”
One in every three bites of food depends on bees for pollination and the annual value of pollination services worldwide are estimated at over $125 billion. In the United States, pollination contributes $20-30 billion in agricultural production annually. Neonicotinoids are a class of insecticide known to have acute and chronic effects on honey bees and other pollinator species and are considered a major factor in overall bee population declines and poor health.
Villanova maintains more than fifty pollinator-friendly plants on campus, including aster, black-eyed Susans, milkweed and mint.
BEE Protective works with municipalities, campuses, and homeowners to adopt policies that protect pollinators from bee-toxic pesticides. For more information about the campaign, visit the Center for Food Safety’s website.
To learn more about Villanova’s commitment to environmental sustainability, click here.