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Environmental activities help to green the campus


by Mary Ann Gratton

Spring has sprung at U of T Scarborough, with a number of environmental activities planned to enhance the beauty and natural surroundings of the campus.

All staff, faculty and students are encouraged to come out to the upcoming events aimed at greening the Scarborough campus. Volunteers are needed to help during the activities, which offer a welcome opportunity to enjoy fresh air while taking part in the beautification of the campus. 

The University of Toronto Scarborough is once again partnering with Evergreen, a charity that builds the relationship between nature, culture and community in urban spaces – in schools, communities and homes.

The partnership involves a program of environmental restoration and educational projects. These activities give unique hands-on learning opportunities to students and engage the broader community in the greening of the campus. Last fall, more than 600 native trees and shrubs were planted. Nature walks, weeding, mulching, and cleanup are all part of the ongoing initiative. Gloves and equipment will be provided to volunteers.

“We encourage everyone to participate in one or more of the stewardship activities,” says Kim McLean, Chief Administrative Officer. “Join us over your lunch hour or coffee break. It is a wonderful way to give back to your community. All of the events give you a chance to spend some time outside while making our campus a greener and even more beautiful place to be.”

“Come on out and get your hands dirty!” adds Lindsay Stroud, Stewardship Coordinator at Evergreen. “We are pleased to be working for a second year with the University of Toronto Scarborough to raise environmental awareness and enhance the natural landscape of the campus. It’s important that these activities are happening at an educational institution, because learning more about the natural world makes education relevant and brings it to life for everyone.”

Upcoming events are as follows:

•    GREENING THE ENTRANCE  - Help to enhance one of the most visible spots on campus. Meet on Wednesday, May 16 anytime between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and help to plant a new native wildflower garden in between the Arts and Administration Building and the Student Centre. The native flowers and grasses planted will attract butterflies and birds, and add greater interest and beauty on campus. Some species to be planted may include black-eyed susans, butterfly weed and blue vervain. Stay for two hours or drop by for ten minutes. Meet at the front entrance of the Arts and Administration Building.

•    HIGHLAND CREEK NATURE WALK  - Take an educational walk and learn more about the area. Highland Creek and its associated waters flow through one of the most urban areas of the Greater Toronto Area. Join us on Tuesday, May 29 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Colonel Danforth Park to explore Highland Creek and learn about how communities like the University of Toronto Scarborough are helping to bring nature back. Meet at the Miller Lash House parking lot beside the playing fields in the valley. (See map.)

•    BRING NATURE TO RESIDENCE  -  Meet under the oak trees near Joan Foley Hall on Thursday, May 31 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Help to add woodland wildflowers and trees to the university residence area between Joan Foley Hall and Fir Hall. With your help, volunteers can enhance plant diversity and create wildlife habitat. Drop in on your lunch hour or break. Some of the species to be planted may include wild wood aster, wild columbine, and dogwood. Meet at Joan Foley Hall.

•    BACK TO THE FRONT  -  To follow up the planting work done on May 16 at the front of the campus, the volunteers will return to plant native wildflowers and shrubs in the new wildflower garden and in the middle of the drop-off “U”. This event will take place during the week of June 4. (Date and time TBA.) Stay for two hours or drop by for ten minutes. Gloves and equipment will be provided. Meet at the front entrance of the Arts and Administration Building.

Visit our web site at for details about these events. For more information about Evergreen, visit

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