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University of Calgary

University of Calgary

Bold thinking for the built environment

Calgary, AB, CA

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Main UCalgary campus returns to its roots in landscape plan

By Archinect
Dec 6, '21 6:25 PM EST
The campus naturalization project purposefully brings back native plants to the area. Riley Brandt, University of Calgary
The campus naturalization project purposefully brings back native plants to the area. Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

First of several naturalization projects takes shape, supporting native biodiversity while transforming our campus environment

The University of Calgary is returning to its prairie roots with the naturalization of its campus landscape.

In October, the Office of Sustainability hosted Naturalizing Swann Mall, an outdoor event to raise awareness and boost community engagement while honouring the Main Campus Landscape Plan. The redevelopment of this outdoor area, just west of the Administration Building, is Phase 1 of several naturalization projects now taking place on campus. Each phase bridges UCalgary’s Indigenous Strategy, ii’ taa’poh’to’p, Institutional Sustainability Strategy and Campus Mental Health Strategy in an effort to establish a sustainable, inclusive and welcoming campus for present and future generations.

“We want our community to appreciate the campus landscape, not just as a place to walk through, but rather a space to engage with and protect,” says Kori Stene, BSc’16, UCalgary’s sustainability engagement co-ordinator.

Like most university campuses across Canada, our landscape is modelled after British horticulture practices. However, the Swann Mall project, which has been under restoration since 2018, is decolonizing its landscape with the integration of local grasses and wildflowers found in Alberta’s natural environment, supporting native biodiversity on campus. (read more)