MSU STRATEGIC INVESTMENT PROPOSAL FOR INSTITUTIONAL PRIORITIES
PROPOSAL OVERVIEW
TitleMontana State Universityís Pollinator Garden: A Hub for Learning, Community Integration, and Discovery Request Date2012-11-27
DepartmentPlant Sciences and Plant Pathology Emailmichelle.flenniken@montana.edu
RequestorMichelle Flenniken Phone406-994-7229
INSTITUTIONAL BENEFIT
Campuses Bozeman Billings Havre Great Falls FSTS Extension MAES
Cross Depts Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology; 5 members Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, 1 member; and Ecology, 1 member
TIMEFRAME
Proposed Dates Start: July 2013 End: September 2014
PROPOSAL SUMMARY
Our team will engage students and community members in building a Hub for Pollinator Health at MSU consisting of a Pollinator Garden featuring both native bee and honey bee friendly forage and habitat, a movable non-permanent structure for storage of equipment and instructional materials, honey bee colonies, and a honey bee observation hive. MSUís Hub for Pollinator Health will facilitate student learning by involving them in planning, creation, generation, maintaining, and utilization of the Pollinator Garden. This site will highlight MSUís commitment to teaching students, leadership in research , and engagement with the community.
STRATEGIC ALIGNMENT
STRATEGIC ALIGNMENT:
This proposal meets several of MSUís Learning, Engagement, Discovery and Integration Goals and therefore encompasses numerous primary objectives including:
Objective I.1: Increase the integration of learning, discovery and engagement.
Objective E.1: Strategically increase service, outreach and engagement at MSU.
Objective L.1: Assess, and improve where needed, student learning of critical knowledge and skills.
Objective L.3: Increase job placement and further education rates.
Objective E.3: MSU students, faculty and staff will have increased opportunities for leadership development.
Objective D.2: Enhance infrastructure in support of research, discovery and creative activities
Objective S.2: Physical Resources. Enhance aesthetic appeal and functional quality of MSU physical resources to support high quality learning, research and work environments.

The primary objective addressed in this proposal is Objective I.1:
Increase the integration of learning, discovery and engagement, which we as faculty leaders will facilitate by involving students (particularly horticulturists, ecologists, microbiologists, entomologists) in the creation of a Pollinator Garden that will serve as a learning site for MSU students and community members, a discovery site for researchers in several departments (Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology, Ecology, Land Resources and Environmental Sciences) and a place to show-case the discoveries of MSUís Research Faculty (e.g. Michelle Flennikenís elucidation of the pathogenic and environmental factors that affect honey bee health, Laura Burkleís studies of native plant-pollinator interactions and pollination services, Tracy Dougherís research on the use of drought tolerant native species in landscapes and commercializing production of Montana native plants).

The secondary objective addressed in this proposal is Objective E.1:
Strategically increase service, outreach and engagement at MSU.
The Hub for Pollinator Health at MSU will be a center for outreach, engagement, and integration of students, faculty and staff, Master Gardeners, and community members. To create the Hub for Pollinator Health at MSU, weíve assembled an interdisciplinary, interdepartmental team, synergizing new faculty across departments and strategically enhancing our service, outreach, and engagement efforts. We are bound by a common interest, namely to teach students and community members about pollinator health while highlighting Montana State Universityís talents in Horticulture, Native Plant Ecology, Native Bee Biology, Entomology, Ecology, Microbiology, Honey Bee Biology, and relevant and timely research programs.
COST AND REQUIREMENTS
Funding Type: One-Time Only Funding Base (3-yr Recurring) Funding
  FY13 FY14 FY15 Base ($) OTO Startup ($)   FTE;
Salaries   21100           
Benefits              
Materials & Supplies   29275           
Travel              
Contracted Services              
Capital              
Other Operations              
TOTAL 50375     
Please comment, if necessary, regarding cost and requirements.

Comments regarding cost and requirements (detailed below).

MSU students and community members alike learn from “hands-on” experiences that foster learning and integration. Ongoing use of this site as an active bee-yard and native plant demonstration site will ensure that this Pollinator Garden continues to give back to the community, therefore this budget includes beekeeping equipment and honey extraction supplies that will be used by students, researchers, and community members; all will gain “hands-on” memorable experiences by visiting this site at MSU.  

Features

The pollinator garden will feature ten commercial beehives that will allow students and community members to inspect the inner workings of a beehive. A selection (15) of bee suits, veils, and gloves will be available to allow safe observation while minimizing any stinging threat.A small shed (10’ by 12’) will house all the beekeeping equipment and an observation bee hive that will allow for safe viewing of honeybees without the need to suit up. This feature will be especially useful for younger visitors to the garden.Extracting and bottling equipment will be used to process a honey crop that will be sold to offset some of the maintenance expenses of the garden.The gardens will highlight native and adapted plants that provide nectar and pollen over the entire growing season and have high horticultural interest. Native plant material will be signed with names and landscape requirements. Like the SFBS program, sales of native seeds, native plants, honey, and native bee boxes will be used to offset future costs associated with the maintenance of MSU’s Hub for Pollinator Health.

Salaries

We are requesting one-time internship and salary funding in order to provide students with advanced training opportunities and to ensure the success and professionalism of this project. We’ve budgeted funding for two summer undergraduate student internship stipends, two faculty one-month salary costs, and one research associate one-month salary costs. Jennifer Britton will serve as project co-manager in June 2014, Laura Burkle (co-manager) and Casey Delphia will establish native bee habitat (e.g. build and place nest boxes for solitary bees and bumble bees) in the garden in June 2014, and Casey Delphia will also assemble a display box of pinned native bee specimens for outreach purposes to demonstrate the diversity of native bees in Bozeman.

It is noteworthy that $1,738.40 of the installation costs and annual maintenance costs of $869.20 have been off-set due to a generous in-kind donation from Toby Day’s Master Gardner Program members; their time and expertise will ensure the success and sustainability of this project. Likewise, Michelle Flenniken, David Baumbauer, Toby Day, and Tracy Dougher are all donating their time on this project as part of their teaching, outreach, and community integration efforts encouraged by MSU.

COSTS AND REQUIREMENTS

One-Time Funds Request for the Establishment of MSU Honey Bee Yard and Pollinator Garden Detailed Budget

Beekeeping Equipment

(10) Beehives plus (10) packages of honey bees                            $3,000

(15)  Bee suits, veils, gloves                                                        $1,200

Queen rearing supplies                                                                   $600

Tools (Smokers, hive tools)                                                             $150

Portable observation hive                                                                $150

 Subtotal                                                                                    $5,100  

                                               

Honey Processing Equipment

12 frame extractor and stand                                                         $1,400

Filters, bottling and wax handling                                                   $1,375

Subtotal                                                                                       $2,775

 

Native Bee Nesting Habitat and Materials

Wood boards and wood and metal posts                                            $400

Cardboard nesting tubes                                                                 $1,400

Insect display drawer                                                                        $100                                       

Subtotal                                                                                        $1,900

 

Pollinator Garden

Plant Material                                                                                $2,500

Mulch or pea gravel for walkways                                                    $1,500

Signage and educational materials                                                   $2,000

Irrigation system                                                                            $2,500

Fencing                                                                                          $4,000

Bee House (storage and observation hive)                                         $4,500

Site preparation                                                                              $2,500

Subtotal                                                                         $19,500

 

Subtotal Equipment / Site Development                                        $29,275

Summer Salaries

2 undergraduate student internship stipends summer 2014             $6,000

Jennifer Britton (July 2014 month salary), project manager             $4,800

Laura Burkle (June 2014 salary) , co-project manager                     $6,800

Casey Delphia (June 2014 salary)                                                  $3,500

Subtotal Salary Support and Student Internships                           $21,100

Total Budget                                                                           $50,375

It is noteworthy that $ 1738.40 of the installation costs (80 hours at $21.73 per hour) and annual maintenance costs of $869.20 (40 hours at $21.73 per hour) have been off-set due to a generous in-kind donation from Toby Day’s Master Gardner Program members.

 

 

 

PROPOSAL SCOPE
Describe the Proposal

Montana State University’s Pollinator Garden:

A Hub for Learning, Community Integration, and Discovery

PROPOSAL OVERIEW:

As the state’s land-grant university, Montana State University has an important role in teaching students, outreach to the community, and highlighting relevant and timely research programs. In this proposal, the Strategic Planning Goals of Learning, Community Integration, and Discovery take shape in the form of a Pollinator Garden at MSU’s Horticulture farm, which is a showcase for the College of Agriculture, Environmental Horticulture Program, Sustainable Food and Bioenergy Systems Program (SFBS), and the Master Gardener program.

Objective:  To engage students in Horticulture, Ecology, Entomology, Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology, and Microbiology in a cross-disciplinary effort to create and generate a Hub for Pollinator Health at MSU consisting of a Pollinator Garden featuring both native bee and honey bee friendly forage and habitat, a movable non-permanent structure for storage of equipment and instructional materials, honey bee colonies, and a honey bee observation hive. MSU’s Hub for Pollinator Health will facilitate student learning by involving them in planning, creation, generation, maintaining, and utilization of the Pollinator Garden. The Pollinator Garden at MSU will serve as a field laboratory and community outreach and integration center throughout the years.

To accomplish this goal we’ve assembled an interdisciplinary/interdepartmental team, synergizing new faculty across departments.  We are bound by a common interest, namely to teach students and community members about pollinator health while highlighting Montana State University’s talents in Horticulture, Native Plant Ecology, Native Bee Biology, Entomology, Ecology, Microbiology, and Honey Bee Biology.

Pollinator Garden Team Members

Jennifer Britton, Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology, Horticulture and Plant Design

Tracy Dougher, Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology, Native Plant Specialist and Beekeeper

Michelle Flenniken, Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology, Honey Bee Researcher, Microbiologist, and Beekeeper

Laura Burkle, Ecology, Ecologist and Native Bee Specialist

David Baumbauer, Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology, Head of Plant Growth Center and Horticulture Farm, Expert Beekeeper who has taught numerous classes

Toby Day, Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology, Montana Master Gardener program

Casey Delphia, Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, Entomologist and Native Bee Specialist

Collaborators and Project Supporters

Kevin O’Neill, Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, Instructor of Introduction to Entomology

Ruth O’Neill, Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology, Research Assistant working with Montana Beekeepers

Bill Dyer, Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology, Advisor to SFBS

PROPOSAL SCOPE:

This proposal meets several of MSU’s Learning, Engagement, Discovery and Integration Goals and therefore encompasses numerous primary objectives (described in the Strategic Alignment section).

Learning. Goal: MSU prepares students to graduate equipped for careers and further education.

MSU’s Pollinator Garden (~150’ by 100’) will be located near the new barn and recently installed rain gardens at the Horticulture Farm. This project would be the first pollinator garden implemented on the Montana State University campus and would provide an educational and engagement opportunity for students, staff, faculty, and visitors. As a visual representative of the academic and research achievement of MSU, the Horticulture Farm is well suited to showcase the university’s commitment to sustainability by providing many visitors’ first exposure to holistic planting and landscape design strategies.

The design of the site will be developed in Jennifer Britton’s Planting Design class (HORT 331, 20 students, Fall semester 2013). This studio course serves as an introduction to planting design and to further enhance appreciation of materials and understanding of landscape design processes. For direct experience in a service-learning environment, students will prepare landscape designs for a pollinator garden with emphasis on identifying plant function within the context of applying design theory, and demonstrating aesthetic and technical skill development. The final designs will have a jury critique representative of faculty from relevant departments and MSU’s Facilities.

This student led and faculty advised project provides a “real-world” experience that will help students obtain jobs or further their education after graduating from MSU.

The plants used in the garden will be grown by Tracy Dougher’s HORT 232 Herbaceous Identification and HORT 245 Plant Propagation classes. In the Herbaceous ID course students not only learn to identify plant material at one stage, they grow herbaceous flowering plants to identify them in various growth stages. Students in Plant Propagation conduct research experiments with the various plant propagation techniques and native plant material. This is groundbreaking research as many of these species provide a new challenge to the common horticulture palette. As demand grows for these species, our students will be at the forefront of this new challenge to provide plant establishment, growth, and culture of these native species. They will also be able to extrapolate these methods and particularly research procedures to native plant materials in other regions of the country.  

Together with the member’s of MSU’s Master Gardening Program, coordinated by Toby Day, students will evaluate native plant species used in the pollinator garden for other Montana landscapes and make changes and maintain plants throughout the years.  The entire community is fortunate to have a very active and engaged Master Gardeners Program. This proposal is bolstered by this group’s in kind donation (valued at $21.73 per hour) to assist with maintaining and improving MSU’s Pollinator Garden for years to come. The Master Gardener Program was initiated by the Washington State Cooperative Extension Service in 1972.  It grew out of a need to meet an enormous increase in requests from home gardeners for horticultural information. Master Gardeners have become a vital part of MSU Extension’s ability to provide consumers with up-to-date reliable information. Master Gardening has also given its participants a sense of community spirit, accomplishment, and intellectual stimulation through volunteering. The Pollinator Garden will be a forum for students, Master Gardeners, community members, and MSU faculty and staff to interact and learn from one another.  

Once established, the Pollinator Garden will serve as a habitat for managed honey bee colonies and native bees alike. Michelle Flenniken and her students investigate the factors (e.g. virus, mites, and chemical exposures) affecting honey bee health. This site will provide honey bees for their experiments and serve as a location for engaging the public. Michelle and her students will serve as a bridge between the exciting scientific endeavors at MSU and lay-audiences. Honey bee colonies are interesting and society as a whole is concerned about the plight of the honey bee and native pollinators (e.g. bumble bees). We anticipate that public events held at the garden will be well attended and publicized.

Laura Burkle’s Plant Ecology students (BIOE 455; 20-50 students each spring) plan to use the Pollinator Garden for group research projects that complement ongoing Plant Growth Center activities by undergraduates. Tracy Dougher’s classes HORT 105 Miracle Growing, HORT 232 Herbaceous Identification, and HORT 245 Plant Propagation will participate in maintenance of the site, learning pruning, deadheading, dividing, planting, and removal techniques as well as ornamental plant, weed, and insect identification.

In addition, MSU’s Pollinator Garden will serve as a “field-site” close to campus; currently, Ecology undergraduate students do not get enough field experience due to the difficulties associated with getting students off-campus for field trips because of lack of vehicles (primarily) and time constraints for travel (secondarily). Similar to Horticulture students current use of the Horticulture Farm and future use of the pollinator garden, Laura Burkle and her graduate students (5) would use the garden for many aspects of their research including trap nesting, monitoring inter-annual variation in native bee communities and native plant fitness, native plant pollen and nectar traits, and pollinator visitation rates. Numerous faculty members (Burkle, Flenniken, Dougher, and Baumbauer) will use the site for bee focused outreach events.  

 
Describe the broader impacts and benefits of this proposal

Describe the broader impacts and benefits of this proposal

MSU’s Hub for Pollinator Health and Pollinator Garden at the Horticulture Farm, would be the first pollinator garden implemented on the Montana State University campus and would provide educational and engagement opportunity for students, staff, faculty, and visitors. As a visual representative of the academic and research achievement of MSU, the Horticulture Farm is well suited to showcase the university’s commitment to sustainability by providing many visitors’ first exposure to holistic planting and landscape design strategies.

The general public is concerned about the plight of the U.S. honey bee population, which has experienced annual losses of ~32% since 2006, and would like to become better environmental stewards. MSU’s Hub for Pollinator Health, featuring a pollinator garden, honey bee colonies and observation hives, drought tolerant plants, native bee habitat and information provides an ideal forum for integrating MSU’s students and research efforts with the greater community. This site would complement existing efforts at the Horticulture Farm including the Sustainable Food and Bioenergy Systems Program, Environmental Horticulture Program, and Master Gardener Program. MSU’s Pollinator Garden will serve as a demonstration of sustainable landscape design featuring native, drought tolerant plant species as well as pollinator species, which are critical to global food production.

 
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Implementation Plan

Implementation Plan

This team is prepared to implement this proposal successfully, as exemplified by Britton, Baumbauer, Day, and Dougher completion of the rain gardens at the Horticulture Farm.

PROPOSED TIMELINE:

Start:  July 2013 - Initial planning by Pollinator Garden Team

           Oct. 2013 - Design and planning by Jennifer Britton’s Planting Design Class (HORT 331)

            Jan. 2014 - Plants grown by Tracy Dougher’s classes and student research projects focused on plants for             

                             Pollinator Garden (HORT 232, HORT 235)

            June 2014 - Establishment of habitat for native bees

            June - July 2014

  • Tracy Dougher’s classes and student research projects, independent study projects for 2 students working directly with faculty mentors
  • Honey bee colonies established by Baumbauer, Dougher, and Flenniken 
  • Pollinator Garden Team and students finalize signage and educational materials
  • Installation of Pollinator Garden (students, faculty, staff, and Master Gardeners)

           Aug. 2014 - Graphic Design students in Jennifer Britton’s class create and produce signage

Outreach Events at MSU’s Pollinator Garden

Montana Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA) Fall Tour 2014

National Association of College Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Tour 2014

Towne’s Harvest Garden Community Support Agriculture participants

Gallatin Valley Beekeepers Club

Level 3 Advanced Master Gardener

End:  Sept. 2014 - Established by September 2014, the Pollinator Garden will continue to serve the MSU community (learning, outreach, extension, and discovery) and greater community (integration).

 
Assessment Plan

Our team is dedicated to the success of this project, therefore we will actively maintain this site and perform regular assessments. 

1) To assess student learning we will administer student educational benefit surveys to determine what students learned from the pollinator garden and identify components that could be added or subtracted from the garden to better enhance their learning experience. In addition, students in HORT 105 and HORT 232 will be given pre- and post- tests to assess learning from the garden information.

2) To assess public engagement and outreach efforts, we will have comment cards and evaluation surveys after each event. In addition, public preference surveys regarding the impact of the garden, preferences for plants, and their interest in pollinators will be performed in Sept. 2014, July 2015 and beyond. We will also have a suggestion box and visitor recording station to ensure that we obtain all relevant suggestions and document the utility of this site.

3) Expert assessments of MSU’s Hub of Pollinator Health will be obtained from groups including, the Montana Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA), growers, the Montana Native Plant Society, the Montana Department of Agriculture (Ian Foley, Pollinator Specialist), the Gallatin Valley and Montana State Beekeepers Associations. After each visit/tour we will request feedback regarding the educational value of this site and flower and landscape preferences.

 
If assessed objectives are not met in the timeframe outlined what is the plan to sunset this proposal?

If assessed objectives are not met in the timeframe outlined what is the plan to sunset this proposal?

This one-time funds proposal has a very high likelihood for success, but in the event that this garden is not being properly utilized or maintained, it will be the responsibility of Flenniken, Burkle, Dougher, and Baumbauer to utilize this area as a research station while working to better its efficacy as an educational outreach center for MSU.

 
SIGNATURES
Department Head: John Sherwood (sherwood@montana.edu)
Dean/Director: Jeff Jacobsen (jefj@montana.edu)
Executive/VP: Tom Mccoy (tommccoy@montana.edu)