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Major green project to be launched at U of T Scarborough

 

It’s easy being green at U of T Scarborough, now that a major environmental and educational initiative is being launched to enhance the natural environment of the campus and provide hands-on green learning.

Everyone is welcome to participate in the Green Initiatives Launch, which will officially kick off on Thursday, September 28. The launch celebrates an ongoing partnership between the campus and Evergreen, a charity that builds the relationship between nature, culture, and community in urban spaces – in schools, communities and homes.

The partnership will involve a program of environmental restoration and educational projects that will provide unique experiential learning opportunities for students and engage the broader community in the greening of the campus. It is also an opportunity to combat erosion and restore the natural environment in spots along the riverbank of Highland Creek. Planting days are scheduled for October 5 and October 25, rain or shine.  

Projects will include:

•    Tree and shrub planting

•    wildflower planting

•    stewardship activities such as weeding and mulching

•    monitoring activities (including research projects)

•    educational activities (walks, lectures, training workshops, class outings, etc.)

"This initiative provides a fantastic opportunity for all of us to make a difference, with planting and other activities to produce a greener campus that will be enjoyed for generations to come,” says Kim McLean, Assistant Principal and Chief Administrative Officer at U of T Scarborough.  “As well, we are partnering with a leading environmental group that has the passion and experience to make this initiative a success."

“Evergreen was founded on the idea that nature is a critical element of healthy, vibrant cities – and nowhere is this more important than in our learning institutions,” says Geoff Cape, Executive Director of Evergreen. “When we bring nature back to a university campus, we nurture learning, cultivate communities and provide a sustainable resource for students and faculty to embrace.”

More than 600 native trees and shrubs are to be planted this fall, with hundreds more to be planted in follow-up events. Four to five subsequent events will be scheduled over the coming years as part of the initiative: Native tree species to be planted include Red Maple, Silver Maple, Black Willow, Eastern Cottonwood, White Cedar, Green Ash, and Grey Dogwood.

For the launch event, everyone is asked to meet at 11:00 a.m. on Sept. 28 on the H-Wing Patio. The activities will begin with tours into the Highland Creek Valley. These nature walks, led by top-flight faculty members in environmental studies, biology, zoology or related fields, will showcase the natural beauty and ecological diversity of the area. A community barbecue will then take place at 12 noon at Miller Lash House, followed by a short presentation and information fair at 12:30 p.m., including sign-up sheets for volunteers.  

About 80 students have already signed up to volunteer, and staff and faculty members are also encouraged to join in the project.

Staff and faculty members who wish to volunteer can register for the upcoming planting days by email with Vinitha Gengatharan at vinitha@utsc.utoronto.ca.

For more details, visit www.evergreen.ca.

 

 





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