John Abbott College Receives WWF Go Wild Grant for Land-Based Project Enhancing Biodiversity

Sainte-AnneDeBellevue (Québec) April 30, 2024 John Abbott College is excited to announce that it has been awarded a Go Wild Grant from WWF Canada to further enhance its innovative Land-Based project. The grant, valued at $1,500, will support the creation of a micro-forest and a First People’s Garden on the college campus, incorporating diverse native plant species to restore biodiversity and support local wildlife.

The Land-Based project, primarily funded by a grant from Colleges and Institutes Canada (Campus Living Lab program), aims to transform a section of the campus currently covered by a low-diversity lawn into a vibrant wild habitat. With the support of WWF Canada, John Abbott College will incorporate 14 species of native plants into the First People’s Garden, enriching the environment and fostering educational opportunities that merge Indigenous cultural perspectives with scientific knowledge.

Shannon Coulter-Low, a key figure in this initiative, expressed enthusiasm for the unique blend of Indigenous traditions and modern ecological understanding: “The grant is helping us build a very unique and exciting project which joins together western perspectives and Indigenous ways of knowing (two-eyed seeing). These plants will be used to create a sacred space for our Indigenous students and all learners to engage with the land in this interdisciplinary project.”

The micro-forest and First People’s Garden will serve as vital habitats for pollinators, insects, birds, small mammals, and amphibians, while also contributing to carbon sequestration, improved air quality, temperature regulation, and water retention in flood-prone areas. This transformative initiative aligns with WWF-Canada’s mission to restore and protect nature, combat wildlife loss, and mitigate climate change impacts.

John Abbott College is one of 59 institutions across Canada to receive a Go Wild Grant this year, contributing to the organization’s larger goal of regenerating one million hectares for biodiversity and climate by 2030. The project at John Abbott College exemplifies the transformative impact of grassroots initiatives in fostering environmental stewardship and nurturing connections between communities and nature.

Elizabeth Hendriks, Vice-President of Restoration and Regeneration at WWF-Canada shared: “We’re delighted to be funding 59 new Go Wild projects. Each year, we’re blown away by the quality and creativity of the applications, and 2024 is no exception. We can’t wait to see this year’s grantees bring their projects to life to restore and protect important local habitats and help biodiversity and the climate.”

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