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It's easy being green

U of T Scarborough's Scott MacIvor speaks to high school students and teachers about Urban Ecology at the TDSB EcoSchools conference, being held this week here on campus.

It’s fitting that U of T Scarborough gave the “green” light to hosting the Toronto District School Board’s Secondary Schools Kickoff Conference, an EcoSchools conference, given UTSC’s strong environmental science program. 

This week, approximately 209 TDSB students and 44 staff members from 36 schools that participate in the board’s school greening program will spend a day on campus attending environmentally focused workshops and learning more about the university itself.

“The TDSB Eco Conference provides a wonderful opportunity for the campus to align with local schools by opening up our doors and taking on a leadership role as an integral anchor institution in the region,” says Brent Duguid, U of T Scarborough's director of partnerships and legal counsel. “Environmental science is one of the most significant and growing programs at the University with world class faculty and resources including the new Environmental Science and Chemistry Building. We hope many of the students attending the conference will be inspired to consider and pursue their post-secondary studies at UTSC.” 

Each group of students is being welcomed by university officials, participate in icebreaker exercises and attend three ecologically oriented workshops before ending the day by considering the changes they might implement in the future to improve the environment. The EcoFoodprint workshop is run by Nadia Harduar from the Sustainability Office, while the Powerful Pollinators workshop is being conducted by Scott MacIvor, a U of T Scarborough biological sciences instructor; the third workshop, The Cycling Link, is facilitated by CultureLink.

Tim Lang, manager of UTSC’s Sustainability Office, says the EcoFoodprint workshop offers students a hands-on opportunity to do some pickling.

“A lot of programs focus on growing, but processing food is very important, too,” Lang says. “There’s an intense harvest period, and to avoid food waste, you need to turn your crops into something you can eat over a long period of time. This session will offer a visceral way to see something they can do at home, too.”


© University of Toronto Scarborough