Spirit of Walking Parallel Paths & Creating an Ethical Space
The 2020 Main Campus Landscape Plan (MCLP) was developed through an extensive consultation process with Indigenous and campus communities. The shared vision ties together the university’s Indigenous Strategy, the Campus Mental Health Strategy and the Institutional Sustainability Strategy. It respects the continual and sometimes circular, interaction of our shared physical, emotional, mental and spiritual realities over time. The Main Campus Landscape Plan is built upon Indigenous views focusing on the importance of ongoing generations and Settlers’ views focusing on their great respect for sustainability.
Sustainable Campus Landscapes
Our sustainable landscape practice promotes biodiversity health, human well-being and is responsive to climate change.
Responding to Climate Change
Our climate is changing with increasingly higher temperatures, and risks of drought and storm events. To enhance the resiliency of our campus to climate change, we are integrating nature-based solutions into new campus landscapes. New landscape designs manage stormwater on campus through retention ponds and rain gardens through increasing soil depths to hold more water. We are choosing drought tolerant native grasses, shrubs and trees that will be more adaptative to climate change and that also s
Enhancing Biodiversity and Soil Health
Our campus has native and adaptive plant species, edible gardens and other plant life which promotes biodiversity health throughout the landscape. These features not only provide an enhanced pollinator environment and habitat for birds and small wildlife.
Promote a Connection to the Land
UCalgary continues to build deeper connections to the land through shared principals which promote an ethical and safe landscape, indigenous knowledge and understanding, as well as education, inclusivity and respect. Our campus was developed to welcome all and create a cohesive and inspiring landscape strengthening our sense of community.
Swann Mall and Mathison Hall
The design of both the Swann Mall and the landscape around Mathison Hall is based on increasing the campus’ natural resiliency and adaptation. To achieve this goal, the following four key strategies have been utilized:
1. Build soil health to increase soil carbon sequestration, water retention and vegetative health.
2. Manage precipitation through infiltration on campus to support natures water cycle, create potential landscape amenities on campus, and reduce flooding in our larger community.
3. Reduce vulnerability to extreme weather events through plant and tree groupings that are more resilient to high wind and other disruptive events.
4. Promote biodiversity health through connective corridors of native and adaptive plant species for the benefit of human and other living species.
Native Plant Species
UCalgary campus landscape has non-invasive adapted plants that are selectively chosen to be more representative of the land that we reside in: an unique junction between foothills and the
Some of the common species planted are as follows:
Trembling Aspen, Wild Rose, Snowberry, Compact Cranberry, Golden Flowering Currant, Western Sandcherry, Slender and Awned Wheatgrass, Tufted Hairgrass, Blue Grama, Canada Milkvetch, Blue Flax and Prairie Sagewort.
Campus Community Garden
Grow pesticide-free food and support sustainable food systems and healthy eating. Anyone can request a plot or join the Community Garden Club to begin harvesting the benefits of local eating. Plots are now available for the 2021 gardening season.
UCalgary is exploring academic, engagement, daily operational and administrative practices to make campus more pollinator-friendly. In February 2020, the university received a Bee Campus designation from Bee City Campus in February 2020. Through engaging community events, environmental stewardship initiatives and buzz-worthy research and online resources, UCalgary is raising awareness for the importance of enhancing our natural environments for bees, butterflies and other essential pollinators.