Our Environment

Bemidji is a special place and our environment is a big part of who we are. We work hard to preserve and protect it.

With the Sustainability Office leading the way, we’ve been named one of America’s greenest colleges and universities by The Princeton Review. As part of our institutional commitment to environmental stewardship, our entire community is dedicated to keeping our campus and our environment pristine. Bemidji State University’s mission for sustainability is to promote awareness and instill passion for the Earth through research, projects, and leadership. At BSU, there is a unique understanding of and commitment to sustainability that emphasizes personal wellness along with social equity, economic feasibility and environmental responsibility. The Bemidji State sustainability mission and perspective has been greatly influenced by the Ojibwe culture, recognizing the symbiotic relationship between Earth and humanity.

Sustainability On Campus

Purple lupine, a common pollinator, intentionally planted at Bemidji State.

The Sustainability Office serves as a facilitator in the University’s commitment to sustainability, acting through a collaborative group involving staff, students, faculty and administrators whose goal is a more ecologically and economically sustainable campus community. The office is responsible for the education, communication, planning and management of environmental issues on campus and also participates in community environmental initiatives. They organize campus activities throughout the year, maintain the campus “Free Store,” implement recycling campaigns and perform waste audits for Beltrami County in an effort to reduce waste throughout the region. Additionally, during the academic school year the BSU Sustainability Office holds weekly presentations on relevant topics related to environmental and sustainability issues. Each month focuses on a different theme, such as wildlife habitats, weaving, canning and preservation, or native foods.

In April, Bemidji State celebrates Earth Month with a full schedule of events, including the annual Stride into Spring 5/10K, panel discussions on genetic engineering, electronics collection drives, and bike maintenance workshops.

Education & Advocacy Programs

BSU offers numerous academic programs that focus on the environment and prepare students to live green, sustainable lives. Visit the Department of Environmental, Earth and Space Studies or in the Aquatic Biology program to learn more about the sustainability-related studies at Bemidji State.

Bemidji State has also partnered with the surrounding community on many educational projects including the efforts to earn Minnesota GreenStep City recognition in 2012. The MN GreenStep Cities program is a voluntary challenge, assistance and recognition program to help cities achieve their sustainability and quality-of-life goals. It is a continuous improvement program that is free and open to all Minnesota cities. With the help of Bemidji State sustainability representatives, the City of Bemidji reached recognition step three of five in June 2015. Read more here. 

Click here to view Bemidji’s MN GreenStep City profile.