Campus Pollinator Pledge

The National Wildlife Federation is asking college and university students, faculty, and staff to take action on their campus to provide healthy habitat for pollinators.

Photo of tiger swallowtail by Linda Matteo

Protect Bees, Bats, Butterflies, and Other Pollinators on Campus

Pollinators play a critical role in providing food for both people and wildlife. As pollinators move from plant to plant in search of pollen or nectar to eat, they pick up and carry away a plant's pollen. When they move to the next plant, they fertilize that plant with the pollen, allowing the plant to reproduce and form seeds, berries, fruits, and other foods. Pollinators are even an important food source themselves, acting as a source of protein for countless species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.

Learn more about why pollinators are important and what the National Wildlife Federation is doing to help.

Take Action for Pollinators

By taking the Campus Pollinator Pledge, campuses are committing to protect pollinators by providing healthy habitat through creation, restoration, and protection efforts. Campuses that take the pledge are also committing to engage and educate their campus community.

As part of the pledge, campuses are asked to identify one or more actions that they will take to protect pollinators. These action opportunities are listed below. Participating campuses are awarded a Campus Pollinator Pledge badge to display their commitment.

image of Pollinator Pledge badge
  • Launch a campus campaign on pollinators highlighting why pollinators are important and how individuals can take action on campus and at home. 
  • Plant milkweed and native nectar plants on campus and host tours and educational events around this project.
  • Initiate or support citizen science efforts that help monarch migration and health. 
  • Work with campus faculty to prioritize research and student engagement on Monarch butterflies and pollinator issues. 
  • Convene campus maintenance/operations department staff and identify opportunities for revised mowing programs and milkweed/native nectar plant planting programs. 
  • Expand invasive species removal programs to make it possible to re-establish native milkweed and nectar plants to the landscape.
  • Increase the percentage of native plants, shrubs and trees that must be used in campus landscaping ordinances and encourage use of milkweed where appropriate. Change weed or mowing ordinances to allow for native prairie and plant habitats.
  • Adopt pesticide practices that are not harmful to pollinators.
  • Work with campus faculty and staff to ensure pollinator conservation is a long-term priority for the campus and included in the campus’s Master Plan, Sustainability Plan, Climate Resiliency Plan or other campus plans.

Campuses will be asked to report on their actions by sharing photos and a short summary through the National Wildlife Federation's Campus Pollinator Pledge Facebook Group page. 


  • Capital University, Ohio
  • Central College, Iowa
  • Centreville Elementary School, Virginia
  • College of the Atlantic, Maine
  • California State University East Bay
  • Discovery Elementary School, Virginia
  • Gannon University, Pennsylvania
  • Gateway Technical College, Wisconsin
  • Gillette College, Wyoming
  • Hubei University of Technology, China
  • Knox College, Illinois
  • Lake Superior College, Minnesota
  • Makerere University, Uganda
  • Nash Community College, North Carolina
  • Saint Joseph's College, Maine
  • St. Lawrence University, New York
  • St. Thomas University, Florida
  • State University of New York Genesco
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • University of New Haven, Connecticut
  • University of South Dakota
  • University of Washington Bothell
  • Western Kentucky University
  • Wheeling Jesuit University, West Virginia
Read the Caption
Campus Garden, James Byard / WUSTL Photos

WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY IN ST. LOUIS – Anthropology graduate students Kelsey Nordine and BrieAnna Langlie examine Rocky Mountain beeweed, a native plant, in one of the campus's rooftop gardens. (Photo credit: James Byard, WUSTL Photos)

Get More Recognition for Your Campus Pollinator Efforts

Student Opportunities

Campus Opportunities

  • All campuses are encouraged to use the EcoLeader project planning platform for their pollinator projects and apply for EcoLeader project certification.     
  • Certify your campus as a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat® by providing food, water, cover, a place to raise young and implement sustainable practices to protect pollinators and other wildlife.
  • Now that you have taken action on campus for pollinators, reach out to your community and get them engaged!

bee, Tianne StrombeckCommunity Action Opportunities

  • Partner with community garden groups and other community groups and urge them to plant native milkweeds and nectar-producing plants.
  • Partner with a local nursery to host a native plant sale or milkweed seed giveaway event.
  • Participate in the National Wildlife Federation's Mayors’ Monarch Pledge. Join U.S. cities, municipalities, and other communities in their commitments to create habitat for the monarch butterfly and other pollinators, and to educate citizens about how they can make a difference at home and in their community.
  • Engage K-12 kids in your community in the National Wildlife Federation's Butterfly Heroes, help to bring awareness to the declining population, and connect kids and their families to help the monarchs and other pollinators.
  • Work with county, city or state government to change landscape ordinances to support integrated pest management and reduced use of pesticides and insecticides.
  • Work with county, city, or state government to increase the percentage of native plants, shrubs, and trees that must be used in community landscaping ordinances and encourage use of milkweed where appropriate. Change weed or mowing ordinances to allow for native prairie and plant habitats.

The National Wildlife Federation's EcoLeaders Community hosts a Project Planning Resource Library to help you plan and implement a successful pollinator project on campus. (Note: To access the Project Planning Resource Library you need to be a registered member of the EcoLeaders Community. It’s free to join.)

Get Involved

Where We Work

More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. The National Wildlife Federation is on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

Learn More