Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 46.21
Liaison Chris Gardner
Submission Date Aug. 23, 2022

STARS v2.2

Douglas College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.20 / 4.00 Chris Gardner
Director
Facilities & Ancillary Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Campus Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Campus Engagement:

Sol Garden
The Sustainability Outreach and Learning (Sol) garden was established at the College's Coquitlam campus in 2015. Since then, the Sol Garden has hosted numerous educational workshops for students and community members on urban sustainability. In 2021, Douglas College plans to expand the Sol Garden and associated programs to increase Indigenous interpretive content and plantings.

The College has also established demonstration plantings at the Sol Garden where educational workshops are provided by students. Target groups for workshops include youth, homeowners, indigenous stakeholders, environmental organizations, municipal staff and members of the landscape and nursery trades. The objective is to increase the uptake of native plants in urban gardens on a regional scale through promotion of their benefits. Increased planting of species that provide ecosystem services like pollination and pest control has the potential to increase crop yields of food plant and reduce the need to use synthetic pesticides to manage pests. We anticipate a secondary benefit of public education regarding plant use by local Indigenous groups.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Public Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Public Engagement:

UNIBUG Program
Starting in 2011, the UNIBUG project (User Network for Insect Biology in the Urban Garden) engaged community volunteers to monitor beneficial insects in home and community gardens in association with plants that attract these insects. In the UNIBUG program, the College and student coordinators facilitate community engagement by encouraging direct participation of community members as citizen scientists. Citizen science has been shown to increase community engagement in ecological issues while also collecting important ecological data. As part of this program, a paid co-op student is in charge of running monitoring programs for species of risk.

Beetle Watch Program
The Beetle Watch program, undertaken in part by Douglas students, engages citizen scientists to determine the distribution of the invasive ground beetle, Nebria brevicollis. Hundreds of volunteers have been involved in both Beetle Watch and UNIBUG programs, and adults and youthful participants truly enjoy this direct involvement in the research process.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Air & Climate?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Air & Climate:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Buildings?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Buildings:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Energy?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Energy:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Food & Dining?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Food & Dining:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Grounds?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Grounds:

Sol Garden
In addition to contributing the campus engagement on sustainability, the Sol Garden contributes to advancing sustainability in relation to grounds management.

In collaboration with Douglas College and Indigenous Student Services (ISS), the College promotes the use of native British Columbia plants in urban gardening, ecological restoration and cultural practice. Focus is on both the Indigenous cultural significance of native plants and their role in providing critical ecosystem services like pollination and pest control. The Indigenous focus provides an opportunity to decolonize urban garden practice while educating the public and students about Indigenous plant use. Promotion of plants to support ecosystem services will facilitate increased sustainability in urban garden practice.

To date, the SOL Garden maintain plantings of tobacco and sweetgrass that are harvested by ISS staff and students for medicinal use. In 2022, we plan to dramatically expand the indigenous focus of the Sol Garden to include plantings of species relevant to local indigenous peoples with associated interpretive signage.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Purchasing?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Purchasing:
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IIs the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Transportation?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Transportation:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Waste?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Waste:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Water?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Water:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Diversity & Affordability:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Investment & Finance?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Investment & Finance:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Wellbeing & Work:
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Website URL where information about the institution’s living laboratory program is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.