Biodiversity Zone: uOttawa

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Photo cresdit: Jonathan Rausseo

I am going to fold big concepts together here so please bare with me.

Concept #1 - Living Laboratory
I've talked about this before but a little refresher is in order. The Living Laboratory is a concept that places the University campus at the center of unique learning experiences. These learning experiences typically happen outside of the classroom and can be structured or unstructured.

Concept#2 - Biodiversity zone
A Biodiversity zone is at it's heart an area with a higher variation the the number of organisms. Simply put, more living things in a given space.

So if I take these two concepts and bring them together then what we get is the Biodiversity Garden for the University of Ottawa. The concept of this project would be to create a small garden on campus with a disproportionately high amount of biodiversity. This would create a space that would not only increase the number of species on campus, it would also create a space where students in the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Arts could study biodiversity up close.

The project is pretty exciting but there are a tonne of logistical things that need to get taken care of... like where would this garden be located? who would run it? what are the species that would go into it? and so on.

Well I do have some answers for you. A location has been selected in the little garden between the Simard and Arts pavilions (the little green space with the horse statues). This location was the idea of professor Robert McLeman.

As for how this will all come together... well for now there are two students, Thomas and Veronique, who are conducting the preliminary study about what species could fit into this space (now the photo above makes sense). This is being done as part of their EVS 3501 Environmental Sciences course and is being conducted through the Community Service Learning program. Once they have finished the garden concept will be presented to Physical Resource Services for construction. A program will be developed for learning and research, and hopefully the biodiversity garden will be in full swing in the coming years.

I will do my best to keep you all updated on the goings on of the project but the best way to get involved in these programs is to sign up to community service learning.


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