Let Them Have Green Tours

Monday, September 10, 2012

On Friday I had the good fortune of giving a green tour of the campus to some students in a third year environmental-history class. I typically give tours that last between 2 and 3 hours but we were able to condense this one into an hour and 15 minutes. I guess I can talk faster than I thought.

Just to giving you a little insight, during these campus green tours I talk a lot about the physical campus, the recycling, energy distribution, and urban planing infrastructure that makes the University of Ottawa a green campus. We visit recycling centres, the vermi composter, the power plant, and even the shuttle bus stop.

Anyways, it was on this tour last week that professor Darcy Ingram asked me if all this green infrastructure was listed somewhere. I said that it was available on our green map but I don't think that is what he was looking for. What he really wanted to know about was the narrative. Is the story of our green tour available anywhere?

Yes you can go on our awesome Green Map and see all the sustainable infrastructure but you don't get to understand the how and why. Why are trees located along the walls of the campus and why aren't they more of them on campus? Why are the Health Clinic and the Sports Centre located at the edge of the campus instead of right in the middle?

I thought to myself, "Why not have the students in the history class research all these locations and make little videos?" I asked a couple of friends what they thought and they were pretty excited about the idea of maybe adding small video clips to the Green Map that would explain some of the infrastructure. What do you think? Have you ever wondered what happened to the trees in front of the UCU? Or why the green roofs on the Social Science Tower aren't accessible?
Maybe we could serve up some of those answers for you?

~ jON - campus sustainability manager
photo credit - jonathan rausseo

P.S. - This weekend I gave a virtual Green Tour of the Campus to the Liaison office (so that they can in turn tell everyone about the great sustainability features on campus). If you want to see the Prezi I presented, click here.

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