Environmental group hopes to make Queen’s plastic-free

Group also planning native pollinator garden at Four Directions for spring

The native pollinator garden is located outside the BioSciences Complex.
Credit: 
Supplied by Andreea Bosorogan
Using a five-year plan, the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) Kingston chapter hopes to lead Queen’s to a plastic-free campus. 
 
Last summer, SCB garnered more than 700 signatures in a petition calling on the University to transition away from plastics. In December, co-chair Andreea Bosorogan, ArtSci ’20, said the group will launch a survey to collect Queen’s-specific data about student perceptions of sustainability on campus. 
 
In an interview with The Journal, Bosorogan said SCB will bring the survey’s findings to Queen’s Sustainability office.
 
“It’s a short survey, but I think we’re going to hit the spot in collecting the data,” she said. “Then we’re hoping to present it and actually get the ball rolling.”
 
Bosorogan said SCB’s previous executive had a three-step plan the current team has built into a five-year plan.
 
“We have a more solidified plan,” she said. “We’re going to try our best to at least make Queen’s commit to a plastic-free campus.”
 
SCB also plans to launch a monthly newsletter next month that Bosorogan said will raise awareness about sustainability and conservation issues in Kingston and Canada. Currently, about 30 people have signed up for the newsletter.
 
“We found that sometimes, although we have weekly updates, people want to know more and more, so we thought we could have a monthly newsletter about the big picture,” she said.
 
She said each newsletter will have a different theme. 
 
“You may know a lot of people who are afraid of bats, but they’re an essential pollinator,” Bosorogan said. “We’re just trying to raise awareness and educate people.”
 
SCB is also taking native pollination to other parts of campus. After establishing a native pollination garden outside the Biosciences Complex in 2017, Bosorogan said SCB is working with Four Directions to plant a similar garden there. 
 
She said previous members of SCB had worked on the initiative last year, and the project was passed on to this year’s executive members during their transition in the spring. 
 
“We hope that by creating a native garden, we can promote more biodiversity,” she said.
 
Bosorogan said SCB is planning to plant the perennial flowers, including Sweetgrass and Pearly Everlasting, in April. While the group originally wanted to plant the flowers in the fall, Bosorogan said that wouldn’t have given the plants a long enough establishment period to take root.
 
“It could have looked extremely pretty in the fall, but then we had a very early winter. I’m very glad we didn’t do that because most of them would have died,” she said. 
 
Bosorogan added that planting more native pollinator gardens on campus will increase student awareness about native species. 
 
“I find it pretty fascinating if you go on a hike and you know how to identify a native species from an invasive species,” she said. “It’s rewarding for yourself, but it also rewards the environment, because it promotes native pollinators.”
 
 

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