Guelph Campus Conservation Program

 

Guelph Campus Conservation Program

The Guelph Campus Conservation Program is comprised of several campus-based projects related to protecting urban biodiversity, connecting to nature, and improving pollinator health. These projects include a pollinator garden, a seed orchard, a campaign against litter, and an educational signage project to accompany the work being done on campus to protect and restore nature on our urban campus.

Guelph Campus Conservation started from the initial idea to have University of Guelph community members help return native plants to the University of Guelph main campus by planting several native plant gardens in areas on the edges and outskirts of the campus, which we have started to do through the creation of the seed orchard and pollinator gardens. Guelph Campus Conservation, to date, has planted over 600 plants behind South Residence as part of a native plant garden and seed orchard projects, with plans to continue expanding this space. 
 

The seed orchard and pollinator gardens aim to: 

  • Increase the connectivity between the University of Guelph's key greenspaces through target plantings such as our inaugural garden behind South Residence. These gardens will serve as habitats, foraging resources, and corridors for wildlife, especially for pollinators and other beneficial insects.
  • Enhance our campus's natural landscape to foster a healthy ecosystem that is resilient to climate change.
  • Communicate the importance of native plants, pollinators, and urban biodiversity to the general University of Guelph community and the broader public in a digestible and engaging manner.
  • Create a regenerating source of locally grown native plant seeds to further our native plants to our campus landscape.
  • Foster a community amongst plant and pollinator lovers. 
     

Guelph Campus Conservation has now expanded to include several other "conservation"-related projects under its umbrella, and we're always looking to add more projects to this program. If you have a project idea that you'd like to pitch or have an already established project you're looking for support with, please email Samantha at sustainability@uoguelph.ca to set up a project meeting.
 

Take Action for Nature on Campus

There are several ways to get involved with the Guelph Campus Conservation Program, and this opportunity is open to University of Guelph students, staff, and faculty.

We're currently looking for volunteers interested in:

  • caring for the pollinator garden and seed orchard throughout the summer months. Various tasks are available, including removing invasive species, planting native plants, and removing litter in the area. 
  • organizing our inaugural fall seed festival in October 2022. Note: This will start in August and take place virtually through weekly Teams meetings.
  • getting involved in our community science mapping project this July and August. Note: This requires volunteers to be in-person and on the University of Guelph campus).
  • creating accessible educational resources on the impacts of litter on nature for our Nature without Waste campaign. Note: This can be done entirely remotely and virtually).
  • mapping out the seed orchard and pollinator gardens using ArcGIS software. 
  • creating digital visualizations of the space and helping design the future phases of the seed orchard. 
  • organizing our seed-saving training for early October. Note: This will start in August and take place virtually through weekly Teams meetings.
     

Time commitments vary based on the tasks an individual is assigned, so this volunteer opportunity is flexible. We are meeting weekly for the summer months to plan and touch in. We will be hosting two volunteer orientations - one in the last week of June and one in early July. The dates are TBD and will be announced through our listserv.

Currently, most volunteer opportunities available through this program are virtual and can be done remotely. For the in-person activities, we will be doing a series of volunteer blitzes throughout July and August in the fall. 

For most positions, you will need access to a computer, UofG email, and the internet to complete the tasks required for the projects.

To get involved, please email Samantha at sustainability@uoguelph.ca to be added to the program's list-serv and to be sent our weekly Teams meeting invitation. 

If you have any questions or accessibility needs for volunteering for this program, please feel free to reach out to Samantha sustainability@uoguelph.ca.