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Archive for May, 2013

May 17

Gardens in Full Bloom

Published in 2013

Hello, hope you are enjoying this gorgeous spring weather! We have been very busy outside prepping all of our gardens around campus; make sure to check them out!


We have two gardens that have all native plants in them. One is located between the Lower Hobson Union and Sattgast, called the Butterfly Garden. The Butterfly Garden is designed to attract butterflies, including the Monarch butterfly. The Monarch migrates from Mexico to make its home in Minnesota over the summer months. The Monarch caterpillars eat milkweed (Asclepias) before becoming a beautiful Monarch butterfly. The Butterfly Garden is full of three different types of milkweed: Swamp milkweed, Butterfly weed, and Common milkweed.  The home of the other garden, the Early Bloom Garden, is off of Birchmont Drive between the A.C. Library and Sanford Hall. Most of the flowers in the bed were selected because of their ability to bloom early so students, faculty, and visitors to enjoy their beautiful colors for graduation. One of the earliest blooming plants in Minnesota is the Pasque flower. This beautiful purple flower will bloom before all the snow has melted! Native plants are great for the environment because they attract local wildlife and do not need fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides, and once established, need no watering. You can learn more about native landscaping here. The third garden, the Shakespeare Garden, is located behind the A.C. Clark Library, next to the Bridgeman Hall bridge. Although this garden does not have native plants, it does have perennial plants that come back every year. The garden was planted to take up some awkward space that used to have grass that needed to be mowed.


The last garden that we have been working on is the Gitigaan Campus Garden. Gitigaan is a community vegetable garden with 28 plots for students, faculty, staff, and community members to come in and plant whatever they like. It costs $10 for students and $15 for non-students. This garden was a student-led initiative. In the spring of 2011, a People and the Environment class volunteered their time to dig up the sod and the Sustainability Office staff built a fence around the soon-to-be garden. The sod was donated to Village of Hope in Bemidji. The first summer, there were 18 people, and the past two years, all 28 plots have been filled with 28 different people, providing a vast array of gardening knowledge. This project is a great example of how a few students can make a huge difference, not only for BSU, but for the community. I can’t wait to start harvesting my crop!


Have a great weekend!



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May 1

Earth Week Success!

Published in 2013

Earth Week has now come to a close, and we are thrilled with a very successful and fun week! Several environmental documentaries were shown with much enthusiasm from the student body, such as Island President, Garbage Island, Thin Ice and Vegucated. The Stride into Spring 5K went very smoothly and had high attendance despite the cold weather; two students and two non-students won a free pair of shoes from Herington’s Shoes, a local shoe store in downtown Bemidji. Official Earth Day, April 22nd, held lots of fun for all students! We had live music from Pitches and Hoes, Radical Fun Time and Caige Jambor, and free bike tune ups. Several prizes were given away as well: a bike package, longboard package, fishing package as well as organic groceries from Luekens! We had a huge turnout for our Sustainable Tuesdays, hosted by our own GreenCorp member, Caitlyn Schuchhardt.

A GMO Food Labeling panel discussed the future of our food and got the word out to the public about the harmful effects of genetically modified food. At the vegetarian food panel, we had lots of yummy vegetarian foods to sample, such as wild rice hot dish, fresh veggies, hummus, pasta and vegan cookies; we discuss our experiences with vegetarianism, and showed the documentary Vegucated. The still-frozen ground on the shores of Lake Bemidji didn’t stop enthusiastic students from volunteering for the annual Lakeshore Cleanup! They worked hard to clean up the litter that piled up along with all the snow we got this year. The MN Food Charter got together at the beginning of the week to gain support for a public policy that would make good, healthy food available everywhere for everyone; this initiative has huge local support from our community.

And finally, Thursday May 2nd is the day of our E-Waste Collection at Paul and Babe. We are still in need of volunteers and you can sign up in the Sustainability Office. 5R Processing will be accepting computers, printers, laptops, cell phones, microwaves, stoves, appliances and much more!

Earth Week has been sponsored by Students for the Environment, the Sustainability Office, Horizontally Challenged, ARAMARK, the Outdoor Program Center, MN GreenCorp, Indigenous Environmental Network, Bobcat of Bemidji, Herington’s Shoes and the Green Fee.



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"Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the Earth is our Mother? What befalls the Earth befalls all the sons of the Earth."
~ Chief Seattle in a letter to President Franklin Pierce, 1852