LIBRARIAN LINDA DECRAMER squats down behind the library among some flowers that benefit from pollinators.       Ian Stepleton photo
LIBRARIAN LINDA DECRAMER squats down behind the library among some flowers that benefit from pollinators. Ian Stepleton photo

     Do you think about bees?

     You will, if a few local leaders have anything to say about it.

     This week, several local organizations are teaming together to host a program called “Supporting our Pollinators” and are inviting the public to participate.

     Held Tuesday and today (Wednesday) at 7 p.m. at Mugs Coffeehouse, the meeting promises to be “a community-wide, multidisciplinary, intergenerational exploration of the importance of pollinators for ecological and human well-being.”

     Interested, but missed Tuesday’s meeting? Just show up tonight.

     The goal, as the leaders explained, is to start spreading awareness through collaboration.

     It’s a three-pronged approach — utilizing leaders from Ripon College, Ripon Public Library and the Ripon Area School District — to a problem many have heard about, but few put much thought into.

     “Linda [DeCramer from the library] approached me first; she is a sustainability advocate and was interested in collaborations between the college and the community,” said Alice Reznickova, director of sustainability at Ripon College. “I am new to both the college and the town and was looking for ideas from the community to begin our sustainability work.”

     The concept started out as one might expect a library initiative to begin: with reading.

     “Linda’s original idea was to organize a sustainability-themed ‘Community Reads’ project in which everyone would be invited to read a selected book; this would be followed by book discussions in the community,” Alice said. “Once we got together and established an interest in pollinators, this idea began growing — perhaps a little too much — to include events, workshops, prairie walks, art and much more.”

     “Extending [that partnership] to include the Ripon Area School District seemed natural,”  Linda said. “... Schools immediately came to the fore as prime places to engage a significant portion of the youth population in a meaningful and supported way. So far, [school district administrators] have been informed of the project and have expressed support for exploring the topic through their school’s curriculum.” ...

     To read the entire column, see the Oct. 11, 2018 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.