College of Southern Maryland (CSM) is the first Maryland college to have its campuses designated as Bird City Campuses and earn the title “High Flyer” from Bird City Maryland – a program of the Maryland Bird Conservation Partnership and local arm of the global Bird-Friendly Coalition. CSM joins the Town of La Plata, which was named the first Bird City in Maryland in 2020, in committing to help make Southern Maryland a healthy place for birds and people.
The Bird City Campus designation recognizes the eco-friendly work being done at CSM campuses in six areas – habitat creation, protection, and monitoring; city forest, tree, and habitat management; limiting or removing threats to birds; public education; energy and sustainability; and a commitment to the World Migratory Bird Day celebration. The “High Flyer” status is given to “those communities that truly go above and beyond in their dedication to local conservation and education.”
“We are very excited to learn that we have earned these titles,” said CSM Biology Professor Tracey Stuller. “We hope to inspire other campuses around the state and country to take action to amplify bird-friendly environments and help students and the public learn about the importance of conserving landscapes where humans and native birds interact.”
Much of the work to earn these latest titles has been underway for years at CSM as part of the college’s efforts with the Bee Campus USA® program. Bee City USA® renewed CSM’s certification in 2020 following a rigorous application process that recognized the college for collective efforts at its four campuses to conduct pollinator education and outreach, and sustain pollinator health and habitat with a least-toxic integrated pest management plan. Stuller also explained that CSM has a strong commitment to environmentally friendly construction – earning Silver and Gold awards for LEED-Certified buildings at its La Plata, Prince Frederick and Regional Hughesville campuses – and exercises environmental stewardship through efforts in environmentally preferable purchasing, environmental restoration, community environmental projects, recycling, hazardous waste/toxic use reduction and energy efficiency.
“With the momentum of this new designation, CSM looks forward to partnerships with groups like the Southern Maryland Audubon Society on projects specifically geared toward avian conservation,” Stuller said. “We know that our students, faculty, and staff will bring much energy and enthusiasm to this outstanding initiative.”
An even greater sense of pride for CSM, said Stuller, is that a great deal of the garden and eco system work done at CSM’s campuses is done by volunteer students and employees in conjunction with CSM’s facilities staff and thanks to the financial support of community partners including Chaney Foundation, Newport Valley Farm, Southern Maryland Audubon Society, University of Maryland Extension/Master Gardeners, and the Xerces Society.
More details about CSM’s commitment to environmental sustainability can be found online at https://www.csmd.edu/about/environmental-sustainability/index.html or at the Maryland Green Registry: https://mde.maryland.gov/marylandgreen/Documents/College_of_Southern_Maryland_Profile.pdf