USF looks to plant for the future

A world without bees would result in the loss of about half the amount of fruits and vegetables found at grocery stores, according to BBC. 

That world is one that the civic engagement board for the Environmental Awareness and Animal Welfare Committee is working to prevent with its event Planting for the Future, which will take place Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Crescent Hill behind the Marshall Student Center.

Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in games that educate about how to live more sustainably. Guests can also sample local honey and paint a plant pot, among other activities.

“Ideally, we would want people to be more conscious … of the issue, and we’re encouraging them to grow their own plants, eat their own herbs, grow vegetable gardens … just be more conscious,” said Jasmine Wood, coordinator of the Environmental Awareness and Animal Welfare Committee.

Wood said that the event will be fun, but still informative.

“We try to make it fun and interesting, we’re not just trying to lecture,” she said. “So, we try to make more tangible things you can do.” 

The event aims to help students understand that being Earth-conscious is not as overwhelming as it may seem.

Shannon Meara, a board member of the Environmental Awareness and Animal Welfare Committee, said she hopes the event will help people start growing more plants for bees to pollinate.

“I would hope that people would start to get into gardening, to start planting their own flowers [as a result],” she said.

Seeds will be available for visitors to take to start their own gardens, or they can buy a garden plot in a community garden from Temple Terrace Farm 2 School, an organization that works to integrate gardening into local schools.

Ultimately, the event serves to educate visitors about the decline of bee populations as a result of human activity.

“Without bees, we wouldn’t have a lot of the food we have,” Wood said.

Meara echoed Wood’s sentiments.

“We’ve got to start putting our efforts into growing sustainable foods and making sure … that our habits don’t affect [the bees] negatively, and that we impact them in a positive way instead of the way that we’re going now,” she said.