Project to bring more green spaces to campus

AMS Commission of Environmental Sustainability to reintroduce pollinator gardens

The project will reintroduce native species gardens and pollinator gardens to campus.
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Students can expect to see more green spaces on campus next year. 

In collaboration with Students of Queen’s Urban Agriculture and Sustainability Hub (SQUASH), Molly Urquhart, AMS commissioner of environmental sustainability, is planning a three-year project to reintroduce pollinator gardens and more green spaces on the Queen’s campus.

“This project is a multi-year garden space project […] to introduce native species gardens and pollinator gardens back onto the Queen’s campus and expand what wild-spacing is already on the campus,” Urquhart told The Journal.

The project came about from the student environmental coalition Urquhart began this past year. She said this was “right up [her] alley” because one of her priorities is supporting student-led initiatives.

“I was really excited when a student was eager to fix something on campus that they saw as lacking in sustainability, so it was absolutely a priority for myself to support this project to my fullest extent,” Urquhart said. “This project would not be possible without the support of
students.”

According to Urquhart, Queen’s campus contains many unused plots of land designated for green space.

“There’s a lot of lovely spaces on campus but they are extremely under-utilized,” she said. “There’s just empty garden blocks littered around campus so the proposal in itself isn’t so complicated.”

An important aspect to ensure the success of the new plan is that it remains a University priority once the initial excitement of starting it has worn off, according to Urquhart.

“[We’re] working on a succession plan so it doesn’t fall through the cracks,” she said. “[Campus gardens] kind of get forgotten about or left behind so we’re looking on a partnership between my commission as well as a few eager clubs […] and the grounds’ managers.”

Urquhart said the plan is ready and hopes to get it approved and implemented in May.

According to Urquhart, green spaces can be used for students to enjoy nature and may also incur benefits for science programs like biology and environmental studies.

“It brings a lovely green space to campus. It really encourages being outside and with nature,” she said. “We’re also hoping it could act as a living lab, so biology and environmental studies students could have the opportunity to actually interact with these gardens as a form of class work.”

The project is designed for both students and the larger Kingston community. 

“It’s multifaceted in that we’re hoping that everyone can find something from this garden, whether it just be enjoying the natural beauty of it or actually educational work from it,” Urquhart said. “We’re hoping it’s more than just a Queen’s University thing. We’re hoping it’s a bigger broader community engagement.”

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