Penn State Berks to celebrate Sustainability Month with campus tours

READING, Pa. — The Penn State Berks Sustainability Team, led by Mahsa Kazempour, associate professor of science education, has a variety of activities and events in April for the campus' first Sustainability Month celebration. These activities and events, planned and coordinated by various faculty, staff and students, will focus on raising awareness and encouraging personal and community action. 

Throughout the month, there will be a series of Pollinator and Wildlife Tours on campus, led by John Rost, research technician for horticulture and turfgrass and a member of the Berks Sustainability Team.

The pollinator tours will be held at 1 p.m. on April 18 and 4:30 p.m. on April 20. These tours will focus on campus honeybee areas, native bee houses and plants that are beneficial for the pollinators. All tours will begin behind the Janssen Conference Center and start with an examination of the optimal wildflower garden design, layout and placement for pollinators by examining the wildflower garden on campus. Next, Roth will cover various bee structures and where they should be placed in the garden. He will discuss various types of bees that are indigenous to this area and the problems they are facing such as loss of habitat, disease and use of pesticides. The tour will conclude in the honeybee garden, a field of Echinacea and other pollinator-friendly plants.

The wildlife tours will be held at 4:30 p.m. on April 18 and 1 p.m. on April 20 and will focus on various campus structures for bats, bluebirds, squirrels, kestrels and ducks, as well as the habitat needed for these structures to be successful. Rost commented that various outside organizations brought some of these structures to campus. The Pennsylvania Game Commission, for example, brought the bluebird houses to campus, the Girl Scout Brownie Troop in Hamburg donated the kestrel boxes, and the Eagle Scout Troop in Dauberville recently contributed the campus bat houses.

In fall of 2015, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), America’s largest wildlife conservation and education organization, recognized that Penn State Berks greenhouse successfully created a Certified Wildlife Habitat through its Garden for Wildlife program. NWF celebrates the efforts of the staff and students to create a garden space that improves habitat for birds, butterflies, frogs, bats, and other wildlife by providing essential elements needed by all wildlife — natural food sources, clean water, cover and places to raise young.

Those interested in either tour should contact Rost at 610-396-6166 or JPR134@psu.edu to register.

Media Contacts: 

John Rost

Research Technician for Horticulture and Turfgrass and member of the Berks Sustainability Team at Penn State Berks

Last Updated June 09, 2016