Spring semester at William Jewell College means a lot of things for seniors, but for Pryor Leadership Fellows, it means it’s time to start the legacy project for 2021. This year the group decided on funding and turning a shipping container into a functioning learning center for MO Hives, with hopes for completion in early May.
MO Hives is a local nonprofit that Legacy project champions, Kylee Newton, senior accounting and nonprofit leadership, and Megan Sprague, senior psychological science and nonprofit leadership major, interned with during the summer and fall. Founded in Kansas City in 2019, MO Hives works to bring education and excitement back to the honey bee.
“By creating a healthy urban apiary model that can be duplicated in other Missouri cities, MO Hives KC will inspire communities, provide experiential learning opportunities, amplify community garden yields, increase bee populations, and beautify previously blighted property,” MO Hives shared on their website.
Newton and Sprague both fell in love with MO Hives and their mission.
“I was first exposed to MO Hives KC in my fundraising class here at Jewell,” Newton said. “I immediately connected with their mission to restore the bee population and make an environmental impact in KC. The founders of this amazing organization are making small strides everyday that have a huge impact.”
2021 Pryor fellows wanted to choose a project involving education, as COVID-19 has greatly impacted the freedom and productivity in the Kansas City education system. After this home base is built, it can be utilized for storage, field trips and community gatherings. The group hopes that this base will be a beneficial space for not only young students but the whole KC area.
On top of transforming the inside of the shipping container, Pryor Fellows are working to build a 12-foot surrounding deck with wheelchair access in order to support an outdoor gathering area. The goal is to use as many recycled and sustainable resources as possible – from seats to hooks – so Pryor can stay within budget and have a better environmental impact.
“This project will impact everyone in the community,” Newton said. “Bees are vital. Pollinators impact the air we breathe, the beauty we see, and the food we eat. MO Hives is creating a space to sustain and grow the pollinator population. The completion of our outdoor education center will also open the door for opportunities to learn about bees and sustainable agriculture. This initiative will bring STEM back into the community.”
The fundraising and logistics committees have started a GoFundMe and designed shirts to raise a goal amount of $12,000. The group is also looking at hosting a larger event once the weather improves. The event would possibly involve food trucks and outdoor lawn games around the quad. Pryor Fellows plan to finish fundraising by mid-April, so the group can break ground on the project by the end of the month.