Feelin’ Green

The campus community is celebrating Earth Day with a weeklong series of events that include planting a pollinator garden and taking a walk on the wild side at the BFEC.


Isabel Braun ’26 figured the week leading up to Earth Day would be the perfect opportunity to talk to fellow students about the birds and the bees — as pollinators, of course!

Members of the campus community were invited to plant the first flowers in a new pollinator garden behind Gund Commons on Monday as part of a collaboration between Student Council and the Kenyon College Bee Club. It was part of a series of ongoing “Earth Week” activities highlighting nature and the environment.

Students gathered Monday to plant a pollinator garden behind Gund Commons. Photo courtesy of Isabel Braun ’26.
Students gathered Monday to plant a pollinator garden behind Gund Commons.
Photo courtesy of Isabel Braun ’26.

“Kenyon is a campus that's inherently very outdoorsy,” said Braun, chair of Student Council’s buildings, grounds and sustainability committee. “Something that struck me when I was visiting Kenyon for the first time is how the moment it got warm, everyone was outside. I'm very passionate about turning that sort of love for the environment into some concrete action because clearly the passion and love is there.”

The pollinator garden, prepared for planting by members of the College’s grounds crew, was filled with native flowers such as coneflowers, Black-eyed Susans, and bee balm.

Students gathered Monday to plant a pollinator garden behind Gund Commons. Photo courtesy of Katherine Coffin '26
Students pose in the middle of planting pollinator garden. 
Photo courtesy of Katherine Coffin '26.

Grounds Manager Corey Hitchman said the whole crew is excited about the ambition shown by students to give back to the environment by creating gardens like this one. “These areas have a profound impact on our environment and protect the species that benefit from them, and we think it's a great idea to have them throughout campus,” he said.

In addition to welcoming birds and bees, the garden will be used for educational purposes and help sustain the College’s commitment as part of the Bee Campus USA program, Braun said. In May 2019, Kenyon became the 67th educational institution in the nation and the second in Ohio to be certified as a program affiliate.

Anjali Zumkhawala-Cook ’26, co-president of the Bee Club, said the collaborative process of working with the grounds crew as well as another student group has been exciting — and one that she hopes will continue.

“Intentional pollinator spaces like these stand as a reminder that we share the Hill with more than just people; there are diverse populations of flora and fauna that rely on us to pay attention and advocate for their habitat,” she said. “All in all, we've had a lot of fun getting to know more about the grounds team's efforts, and we hope that the garden is a hit with the bees and the students going forward.”

With Earth Day approaching on Monday, April 22, there remain plenty of other opportunities to celebrate. 

The Brown Family Environmental Center (BFEC) will host its annual “Keep It Wild” festival featuring games, vendors, food and live music on Saturday beginning at noon. A number of live animals will be on hand, including wolves, birds of prey, and insects and other arthropods.

Other upcoming events, coordinated with the help of the Kenyon EnviroCoalition — a weekly meeting group that connects the College’s environmentally focused student groups and green spaces — include:

  • Nature trivia at the Village Inn, Wednesday at 10:15 p.m.

  • Tour, CineArts movie night and stargazing at the Kenyon Farm, Thursday at 8 p.m.

  • Invasive plant removal, meeting at the Kenyon Bookstore, Friday at 4:15 p.m.

  • Concert in the BFEC pine grove, meeting at the BFEC picnic shelter, Friday at 6 p.m.

  • Wild edibles hike, meeting at the Franklin Miller Observatory parking lot, Sunday at 1 p.m.

  • Mending workshop at the Craft Barn, Sunday at 5 p.m.