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Wednesday, Feb. 13th, 2019

The Draft Downtown Bozeman Improvement Plan Released

The City of Bozeman and the Downtown Bozeman Partnership have released the draft of the 2019 Downtown Bozeman Improvement Plan.
The 2019 Downtown Improvement Plan builds on a long, successful planning history and lays out a clear vision and flexible framework for the next decade. The plan cohesively integrates multiple key elements including: mixed land uses; development density and form; public space activation; multi-modal transportation; continued historic preservation; and infrastructure improvements. The plan defines Downtown’s importance within the growing community and defines actionable projects for near and long-term implementation.

The planning process began in June 2018 with the selection of a team of national, regional and local consultants including Agency Landscape + Planning (Cambridge, MA), Leland Consulting (Portland, OR), Intrinsik Architecture (Bozeman, MT) and Groundprint (Bozeman, MT). The Downtown Plan community outreach efforts informing the draft plan included: 26 meetings with over 100 stakeholders; 8 community events with 230 participants; and nearly 2,300 individual public comments received.

Upon adoption in April 2019, the Downtown Plan will be a neighborhood plan within the Bozeman Community Plan which is also known as Bozeman’s growth policy. Written public comments about the plan can be sent to the City Commission at or the City Community Development Department at The Downtown Plan adoption schedule includes the following public meetings:

Downtown Urban Renewal District Board Meeting
12:00pm Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Commission Room, City Hall, 121 North Rouse Avenue
Downtown Business Improvement District Board Meeting
12:00pm Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Commission Room, City Hall, 121 North Rouse Avenue
City of Bozeman Planning Board Meeting
7:00pm Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Commission Room, City Hall, 121 North Rouse Avenue
City Commission Meeting
6:00pm Tuesday, April 15, 2019
Commission Room, City Hall, 121 North Rouse Avenue
For more information and to download the Downtown Bozeman Improvement Plan visit:

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Tuesday, Feb. 12th, 2019

New PoKos Smart Aware TM Patent Injects Privacy into WiFi AwareTM Marketing and User Communications

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued PoKos Communications Corp a key patent for improving privacy in communications among nearby and remote devices. PoKos’ U.S. Patent No. 10,206,089 (PoKos S mart Aware TM ) leverages other patented company technology to teach new methods and systems for users to maintain their privacy while taking advantage of network capabilities to discover, communicate and share with marketers, networks and other people around them – both nearby and around the globe.

“This breakthrough technology creates exciting opportunities for people everywhere to extend their communications while controlling their privacy,” exclaims PoKos Founder and CEO timo platt. “People can connect based on their interests, proximity or other desired criteria. But they also want to control the who/what/when/where, or the ‘Four Ws’, that are central to every communication: who they talk to, in what c ontext, and when a nd where t he conversation takes place.”

This critical innovation will be essential to driving the widespread use of Neighborhood Aware Networking (NAN), according to PoKos. WiFi AwareTM and NAN offer the allure to marketers and humans of satisfying their implicit yearning to sense what others nearby are thinking, and to connect them with an interesting story. But NAN has not been able to deliver on this promise, because users shun unwanted solicitations, spam, and privacy intrusions. By enabling devices to authenticate without exchanging contact data or other personal information, PoKos Smart AwareTM arms users with control of the Four Ws, thus assuring their trust of NAN/WiFi Aware communications.

NetworkspoweredbyPoKos SmartA wareTMshouldusherinanewgoldeneraof communications, platt predicts: “users will be more willing to share their stories that bring them together – in person, as well as intellectually, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, and socially – and enhance understanding.

Smart AwareTM is a trademark of PoKos Communications Corp. WiFi AwareTM is a t rademark of WiFi Alliance , the worldwide network of companies that brings you Wi-Fi® , a registered trademark of the Alliance.


“From a larger perspective, this invention brings us one step closer to our vision of a communications globe where people are making continuous connections with others, while maintaining their privacy and anonymity,” states platt. “When combined with PoKos sixth-sense technology, users can discover, connect and anonymously share with devices and servers everywhere, creating a universal communications field akin to the earth’s electromagnetic magnetic field or gravitational force”.

The broader PoKos communications platform is thus well-designed to answer the need for a solution to the competing demands of personal privacy and public safety, as highlighted by the continuing public policy standoff between device makers and civil libertarians, on the one hand, and governmental agencies, on the other. The PoKos platform protects users’ identity and privacy via anonymous communications, while enabling public officials with appropriate legal or judicial authority to identify communications relating to terrorist or other unlawful activity.


About PoKos - PoKos Communications Corp is creating the next-gen dial-tone to the Internet, basedonitspatentedsixth-sense,randomizeddeviceIDandPoKos SmartA ware TM technologies. Each component in the PoKos platform extends users’ communications capabilities while improving their privacy. PoKos is based in Bozeman, MT USA.

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Draft Housing Needs Assessment brings critical data to Bozeman’s housing conversation

A draft Housing Needs Assessment has been developed and will be reviewed by Bozeman’s Affordable Housing Working Group today, February 12th at 3 PM at the Bozeman Public Library (Community Room.) The group is made up of stakeholders from all aspects of Bozeman life –realtors, business owners, bankers, lenders, non-profits, government agencies—and has been tasked with providing ideas and guidance as the City of Bozeman works toward creating a comprehensive, community-wide Affordable Housing Action Plan.

The draft Housing Needs Assessment is a 112 page document brimming with data that paints the picture of housing in Bozeman and surrounding communities. The numbers are compiled from a variety of sources including Census data, realtor data, focus groups sessions and a survey of nearly 500 employers (representing 30% of all jobs) in Bozeman.

The goal of a housing needs assessment is to show the magnitude and scope of the housing challenges in an area. The draft report shines a spotlight on the societal and economic impacts of the problem in Bozeman. The resulting version of the needs assessment approved by the Working Group will be comprehensive and will set the stage for a data-driven discussion about solutions. The assessment brings reliable data to the conversation, giving community leaders a common starting point to begin the action-planning process.

City Commissioner Terry Cunningham – the liaison to the working group - is confident in the scope and talent of the Working Group that has been tasked with creating Bozeman’s action plan.
He says, “Bozeman is poised to take bold action, and that action will be informed by the working group. We are very confident that smart people looking at the same data can develop a Bozeman-specific set of tools to address this pervasive, all-encompassing issue.”
The draft Housing Needs Assessment can be viewed here. Comments on the draft can be made to or by any other methods for public comment found here.

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Friday, Feb. 8th, 2019

Clothes Shopping in Bozeman as a Plus Size Woman

                                                                                                                   photo from Unsplash
Clothes shopping for a plus size woman is hard enough with the majority of fashion outlets catering to smaller sizes. In Bozeman, the options may be much more limited but it’s not impossible to find cute outfits that fit, regardless of shape and size.

Where to find plus size clothing
Bozeman Magazine previously featured a junior’s clothing store that carries sizes for growing children and we need something like that for plus size women, too. Until then, curvy women will have to rely on big retailers for their clothing needs.

                                                                                                           photo: TJ Maxx Facebook
In Glamour Magazine’s list of the best stores that hold extended sizes, Bozeman has three of them, namely Macy’s, JCPenney, and T.J. Maxx. The first two department stores are a little bit more high-end, carrying brands like Calvin Klein and Michael Kors. Meanwhile, T.J. Maxx is a great source for fashionable yet affordable pieces from activewear to formal wear. Two other stores are Maurices and Target where you can find virtually all of your fashion needs for every kind of occasion.

How to dress for your size
Here are a few clothing tips that plus size women can follow to let their beauty shine through:

1. Ditch the baggy clothing. Many women think that wearing oversized clothes hides the parts of the body that they’re most insecure about. However, it can make you look more boxy or shapeless so it’s important that you choose clothes that actually accentuate your curves rather than hide them.

2. Fit over color. Forget the old rule that your wardrobe has to be composed of dark pieces to achieve that slimming effect. When it comes to clothing, it’s not actually about the color but the correct fit. You can wear light-colored tops and bottoms as much as you want as long as the clothes flatter your shape. If you’re a little bit wider in the hips, opt for tops with scoop or boat necks. To de-emphasize your midsection, high-waisted bottoms are a perfect choice, as well as tops with details near the waist. You can strap on a wide belt for more definition. When looking for denim, wide leg jeans are your best bet as Woman Within notes that the relaxed fit and added stretch can provide more comfort. The key is to balance out your proportions while wearing clothes that are neither too tight nor too loose.

3. Not all stripes are made equal. Patterns are not only playful, they can also make you look more svelte provided you choose the right ones. According to Verily Magazine, horizontal stripes are a no-no if you carry more weight on your top half. It can make you look wider. Instead, go for vertical stripes to give the illusion of length. But if you’re a classic rectangular shape, asymmetrical stripes can make you look more curvy. As for other prints, it’s better to try on an outfit to make sure that the patterns strategically play up or hide your features.

4. Vary the fabrics. If you like going for a nude or monochromatic looks, there are two basic rules you should follow. First, make sure that nude tones don’t match your exact skin color as it can be very unflattering. Shape Magazine clims that mixing up the fabrics is another golden rule. Mix denim with lace, velvet with knit, leather with silk, or any other combination. Don’t be afraid to play with textures and you’ll be surprised what works.

Every woman has the right to feel confident in the clothes that they wear. With these tips in mind, you’ll have an easier time shopping for clothes in Bozeman even with a narrower range of options.

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WSE Elects New Board Leadership

Big Timber-area rancher, Roger Indreland, was elected on February 2 to chair Western Sustainability Exchange’s Governing Board, according to executive director Lill Erickson. WSE is a Livingston-based nonprofit that promotes regenerative agricultural methods throughout the Rocky Mountain region.

Indreland and his wife Betsy own Indreland Ranch north of Big Timber and operate the Crazy Mountain Beef Company. He grew up on the ranch and has a bachelor of science degree in Farm and Ranch Economics from MSU. The Indrelands first became involved with the nonprofit when they sold their beef at WSE’s Livingston Farmers Market. His ranch later received WSE’s Sustainability Certification recognizing their outstanding management of their land. In 2008, Indreland joined the WSE’s board of directors to share his ranching knowledge and skills. “ I think I bring a family rancher’s and out-of-the-box thinker’s perspective to WSE,” Indreland says. “What I love about WSE is its ability to connect the dots between the landscape and people and the future.”

Indreland is joined by newly elected Vice Chairman Jim Evanoff. Evanoff was Environmental Protection Specialist for Yellowstone National Park for 22 years and worked at five national parks during his 32-year career at the National Park Service. He was responsible for launching a recycling and compost initiative in Yellowstone that has been replicated in many other national parks across the country. He worked with surrounding counties and the state of Montana to secure funding for a $4 million composting facility outside of West Yellowstone that accepts Yellowstone’s garbage, converting it to rich compost each year. He became active with WSE when he showcased these and other initiatives at WSE’s annual Sustainability Fairs. “What I bring to WSE is my in-depth knowledge and understanding and connections with this entire ecosystem because I cross between federal, state and local governments as well as private industry to promote environmental stewardship in this entire region…. I bring connections so that WSE can further advance its mission,” Evanoff said.

The executive board is rounded out by Board Secretary, Jessie Knowles, and Board Treasurer Dylan Hoffman. Knowles is a Business Analyst at Printing for Less. She does project management for software development, so WSE relies on her technical expertise and project management skills to further their work.

Dylan Hoffman is the Director of Sustainability at Xanterra Parks & Resorts in Yellowstone National Park. Under his steerage, Xanterra has won the National Park Service Environmental Achievement Award and the Department of Interior Environmental Award. He is most proud of Xanterra’s Canyon lodging redevelopment project, the largest sustainable design and construction project in the National Park Service’s history. Hoffman says, “We were able to provide a great enhanced guest experience while doing so with sustainable design and construction in mind.” Regarding WSE’s work, Hoffman adds, “I think that one of the biggest projects is the Montana Grassland Carbon Initiative, and that’s something that WSE, Xanterra, NativeEnergy, and our ranchers are heavily involved in and really excited to bring to fruition.” The initiative will provide carbon offset payments to ranchers who use regenerative grazing methods to increase soil and grassland health that pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and sequester the carbon deep underground.

WSE’s board also added new board member Brittany Masters, a bison rancher and co-founder of Roam Free, a regenerative bison ranch and meat snack company in Western Montana. A strategic marketer by trade and entrepreneur at heart, Masters is passionate about developing brands and health-centric products. Before launching Roam Free in 2016, she spent nine years as a marketing director at the Boeing Company. During that time, she also launched a paleo food company in Dubai and finished her MBA at Seattle Pacific University. Brittany is passionate about improving our food system and regenerating our #1 most endangered ecosystem, native grasslands, which makes her a perfect fit for WSE.

For a complete list of WSE Board members see

About Western Sustainability Exchange (WSE)
WSE is a nonprofit organization based in Livingston, Montana and promotes regenerative agricultural practices throughout Montana and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. WSE’s mission is to preserve the best of the west—wide open spaces, wildlife habitat, farm and ranching heritage—all while strengthening rural economies. To learn more about WSE’s programs, visit


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Thursday, Feb. 7th, 2019

Local Bozeman Business now offering Patagonia Winter Apparel Rentals

 Head to the mountain looking like a pro with the all new Patagonia ski and snowboard outerwear rental line from Explore Rentals. Enjoy the best alpine apparel without bearing the premium purchase price. Every size is available in men’s, women’s, boy’s, and girl’s at Explore Rentals’ convenient location next to the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport.   

Renting premium winter jackets and pants is a new concept in Montana, and a great option for families with growing kids and for those who do not have a regular need for winter gear. Whether you’re hitting the slopes, watching the wolves in Yellowstone, or just enjoying the Montana winter, Explore Rentals can help keep costs down without compromising comfort and style.

Explore’s owner Will Casella states, “Such a large percentage of our guests headed to Big Sky are from the South, or their luggage gets lost by the airline, that we identified a clear demand for the other things you just cannot rent on the mountain. Hopefully we can reduce the costs for families trying to outfit everybody, for local weekend warriors, and to save the day for a few that may be stuck skiing in jeans.”

Casella continues, “Winter outdoor rental gear just seemed like a natural progression. Being that we only rent the best, it was obvious that Patagonia was the way to go. We are proud to offer these great products from a company that strives to protect public lands and reduce consumer waste.”

Patagonia ski and snowboard outerwear defines the industry standard in performance, breathability, and functionality. Premium Powder Bowl jacket and snowpants harness the latest in Gore-tex technology to keep you on the slopes longer. For boys and girls, the durable Snowshot and Snowbelle jackets and pants keep the little ones warm, dry, and happy.

Reservations can be made by calling the office at 406-922-0179, or booking online at

About Explore Rentals

Explore has been Montana’s home for adventure rentals since 2010, offering the largest inventory of rental outdoor gear of any business around. Rentals include rafts, travel trailers, campervans, tents, sleeping bags, bear spray, backpacks, spotting scopes, fly fishing gear, and much more from only the best brands available like Yeti, NRS, Big Agnes, Simms, Leica, Vortex, and Patagonia.

Explore is also an independent car rental agency, offering vehicles perfect for exploring Montana. Subaru Outbacks, Toyota Tacomas (with locally made GoFast Campers), Suburbans, and 4x4 Mercedes Sprinters- all equipped with upgrades that Montanans know are vital, like snow tires and four-wheel drive.

With unparalleled inventory and as the top rated rental agency in Montana, Explore Rentals is the one-stop shop for outdoor adventures- whether in the spring, summer, fall, and now winter.

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Tuesday, Feb. 5th, 2019

Gun locks can save lives, get one for free in Bozeman

Bozeman Mayor Cyndy Andrus, the City of Bozeman Police Department, Fire Department, Gallatin City-County Health Department and Bozeman Health would like to remind the Bozeman community that gun locks save lives and are free for the public at several locations across the city.
According to Project ChildSafe, a non-profit organization that provides free gun locks to partners across the nation including the Bozeman Police Department, safe and proper storage is the #1 way to prevent unintentional firearm discharges at home.
Police Captain Andy Knight says, “Safety is the number one priority when it comes to operating a gun. Securing a gun with a gun lock is a way to improve that safety.”
As part of a city-wide effort to share information about this free resource the Bozeman Fire Department and Bozeman Police Department have teamed up to offer gun locks at Fire Stations 1 and 3 in coordination with the Fire Department’s free child car seat installation program.
Fire Chief Josh Waldo says, “Now a parent can come get their car seat installed by a trained professional and get a free gun lock. It was a no brainer to combine the two ideas. We’re glad to be a part of increasing safety in and out of the home.”
For Bozeman Mayor Cyndy Andrus gun locks are a way for the Bozeman community to be proactive when it comes to gun safety. She says, “There are a lot of things that are not in our power to do when it comes to guns. This is one thing we can do to keep families safe.”
Gun locks are available for free to the public through many organizations in Bozeman. If interested in obtaining a gun lock community members can visit:
Law and Justice Center (main window) – 615 S 16th St
Bozeman Fire Station 1 – 34 N Rouse Ave
Bozeman Fire station 3 – 1705 Vaquero Pkwy
Gallatin City-County Health Department (main window) - 215 W Mendenhall St
Bozeman Health Pediatrics Bozeman – 937 Highland Blvd #5320
Bozeman Health Pediatrics Belgrade – 206 Alaska Frontage Rd, Belgrade, MT 59714

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Monday, Feb. 4th, 2019

MSU's world-class Subzero Lab featured in NatGeo Explorer

The Subzero Research Laboratory at Montana State University was recently featured in National Geographic's “Explorer” television program, highlighting the lab's important role in advancing snow science.
"This 2,700-square-foot facility is one of the leading cold science research centers in the world," the show’s host says in the segment.
The roughly eight-minute segment, titled “The Secret of Snowflakes,” includes footage of MSU researchers using the lab's specialized equipment to study the factors that can cause a snowpack to avalanche.
"You've got a strong layer, a weak layer, and then a strong layer on top — that's a recipe for an avalanche," says Ed Adams, a recently retired MSU professor of civil engineering, in an interview in the segment.
Ben Reuter, a post-doctoral research scientist at MSU, is shown in the Subzero Lab's environmental chamber, where the temperature of the floor, ceiling and walls can be controlled to simulate a natural winter environment. Reuter shows the “Explorer” host the equipment that the researchers use to make artificial snow.

Reuter, Adams and Subzero Lab director Kevin Hammonds, assistant professor of civil engineering, are shown looking at detailed images of ice and snow crystals taken with the lab's powerful microCT tool, a smaller and specialized version of the CT scan technology used to see inside the human body for diagnosing illness.

Also shown are Neige Calonne, a visiting researcher from France who was working with Adams last fall, and Trenton Aeillo, a freshman majoring in earth sciences. With funding from MSU's Undergraduate Scholars Program, Aeillo is conducting research with Hammonds about surface hoar — delicate ice crystals that, when buried by additional snow, become a weak layer that can cause an avalanche.

"By studying the mechanics of a snowpack and the snowflakes inside it, Dr. Adams's team is trying to improve avalanche prediction in order to save human lives," the “Explorer” host said.
In the show, the host asks Adams whether he can imagine a software tool like Google Maps that can predict avalanche danger with higher resolution than current forecasts. "Yeah, we can get closer to that," Adams says.
The Subzero Lab, which is housed in the Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering, is used by MSU researchers from across campus, including by snow scientists in the Department of Earth Sciences and polar researchers in the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences.
The segment aired on “Explorer” on the National Geographic channel on Dec. 17 in episode six, titled "The Boiling River," which is available for viewing at

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Friday, Feb. 1st, 2019

Library brings One Book One Bozeman, community readers unite

The Bozeman Public Library will host the eleventh year of Book One Bozeman in February. This is an annual event that promotes literacy and community engagement through the shared experience of reading. The 2019 book selection is Love and Other Consolation Prizes by New York Times bestselling author Jamie Ford.

Each year a book title is selected and a month-long program of events is created to explore the themes of the book including author talks, discussion panels, and expert presentations. Themes from the 2019 book selection include: human trafficking, world’s fairs, red-light districts, and a love story. Eleven unique events are planned throughout the month.

Jamie Ford’s debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list and went on to win the 2010 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. Love and Other Consolation Prizes is his third book. A local Montanan, Mr. Ford will participate in three author events on February 26th and 27th at the Bozeman Public Library and Country Bookshelf.

“We love putting together this event,” said Kit Stephenson, Head of Adult Programming and Outreach at the Bozeman Public Library. “Selecting the author, planning the programs, and watching the community participate and contribute is really fun. It’s so different every year with each new book selection.”

One Book One Bozeman is organized by the Bozeman Public Library, Country Bookshelf and MSU Library with funding provided by the Bozeman Public Library Foundation and Friends of the Bozeman Public Library.
One Book One Bozeman will run the month of February 2019 and is free to the community. For more information and a complete schedule of events visit

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Wednesday, Jan. 30th, 2019

MSU recognized for commitment to protecting bees and other pollinators

In an effort to support healthy populations of bees and other pollinators, Montana State University has joined a nationwide initiative certifying the university's pollinator-friendly practices and programs.
In November, MSU was designated a Bee Campus USA by the international nonprofit Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, becoming the first Montana campus to qualify and enroll. The program includes 58 other campuses nationwide.
"This recognizes some incredible work on campus that many people might not be aware of," said Mathew Bain, program coordinator in MSU's Office of Sustainability.
Bee Campuses are required to have pollinator-friendly habitat that includes native plants, engage in outreach programs and teach courses related to pollinators, among other things.
"Becoming a Bee Campus builds upon, and unifies, ongoing research and outreach efforts aimed at promoting pollinator health at MSU and supports student and community member involvement," said Michelle Flenniken, assistant professor in the Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology in MSU's College of Agriculture.

Flenniken, who co-directs MSU's Pollinator Health Center with Laura Burkle, assistant professor of ecology, led the development of the Honey Bee Research Site and Pollinator Garden at MSU's Horticulture Farm in 2015. The half-acre garden includes native plants that bloom throughout the spring and summer to provide a steady supply of the pollen and nectar that pollinators need.

"One of the factors that contributes to bee deaths is lack of suitable forage," said Flenniken, whose research focuses on pathogens such as viruses that are another contributing factor to the high annual losses of honey bee colonies in the U.S. Even small areas of blooming plants can make a significant difference for pollinator health, she said.

Flenniken and Bain are members of an MSU committee that is tasked with developing a pollinator habitat plan for campus, which is required by the Bee Campus program. Native plants along the west side of Leon Johnson Hall are an example of what could be done in other areas of campus, said MSU facilities director EJ Hook, another member of the pollinator habitat committee.

"The Bee Campus designation recognizes the steps we've been taking and pushes us to go even further," Hook said. In addition to maintaining flowering plants, MSU manages weeds and insect pests with the minimum of herbicides and pesticides, he added. That means tolerating dandelions in some areas because the blossoms are an important early-season forage for bees and other pollinators, he said. As a result of the Bee Campus designation, MSU Facilities Services will increase communication to explain those landscape management decisions, for instance with signs to point out areas of native plants.

MSU's pollinator education and outreach offerings currently include nine undergraduate courses, several outreach activities for local youth and the Pollinator Symposium, where MSU graduate students and faculty present their research on honey bees, bumble bees and other pollinating insects in an open, public forum.

Flenniken, who has organized the symposium since it began in 2017, said the Bee Campus designation could inspire additional course offerings and other opportunities for MSU students, particularly undergraduates, to learn about bees and the important role they play in pollinating numerous important plant species — including fruit, nut and vegetable crops — in addition to producing honey.

Bain, who earned his bachelor's in environmental science at MSU last year, initiated the effort to designate MSU after visiting another certified bee campus last spring.
"This will make campus even more of a living laboratory where we can learn about best practices," he said.

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