Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.88
Liaison Nadia Harduar
Submission Date April 21, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Ontario Institute of Technology
IN-2: Innovation 2

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Shannon Oletic
Asset and Sustainability Planner
Office of Campus Infrastructure and Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
We Grow Trees staff challenge

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:

The We Grow Trees challenge is an initiative developed through UOIT’s Healthy Workplace Committee in which all UOIT staff were encouraged to participate in.
The goal of the challenge is to promote the connection between a healthy lifestyle and a healthy environment. Staff participants were given information packages explaining the process of growing a tree. They learned: how to collect seeds/acorns, foster the seeds over the winter, plant seeds, care for and water seeds and aid their seed during the growth process into a small tree. A kick-off event for the challenge took place at the beginning of November 2015, preparing participants for the challenge. Throughout the challenge participants receive sufficient support from the Healthy Workplace Committee – who answer any questions, send out reminders/timelines and keep the challenge spirit alive and engaging. The challenge ended when trees were transplanted to UOIT campus grounds and a celebration BBQ was held. Prizes were given out for the tallest tree, the tree with the biggest leaves, the first tree to sprout above the soil, and to participants who could identify their type of oak tree. Once the trees reach an appropriate height they will be transplanted again as part of the Campus Master Plan.
The challenge aims to create a direct link between UOIT staff and their environment, while teaching useful environmental knowledge. The benefits to the participant’s health come from their time spent outdoors, being part of an inclusive team/group learning and ‘growing’ together and environmental knowledge gained. Teaching UOIT staff how to grow and plant trees allows them to work towards positive, tangible environmental change in the UOIT community. These trees planted on campus contribute to the carbon sequestration and overall carbon footprint of UOIT. This challenge and an increase in trees on the UOIT campus will improve air quality, improve wildlife conditions and increase health and environmental awareness of community members (staff, students and faculty). The challenge also teaches staff how to plant, which is an extremely useful skill to have and can be transferable to planting vegetables.

The We Grow Trees challenge ended in mid-April 2016 when the trees were transplanted to the campus farm grounds.

+ Date Revised: June 9, 2016

A brief description of any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation (if not reported above):

The number of people directly affected by the innovation is one measurable outcome - currently, there are 84 staff registered for the challenge. These staff will benefit by gaining planting skills and the human health benefits associated with time spent outdoors and working as a team. In addition, these trees will be transported to different areas of the campus as they grow, contributing to the campus natural environment and biodiversity.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
Which of the following STARS subcategories does the innovation most closely relate to? (Select all that apply up to a maximum of five):
Yes or No
Curriculum ---
Research ---
Campus Engagement ---
Public Engagement ---
Air & Climate ---
Buildings ---
Dining Services ---
Energy ---
Grounds Yes
Purchasing ---
Transportation ---
Waste ---
Water ---
Coordination, Planning & Governance ---
Diversity & Affordability ---
Health, Wellbeing & Work Yes
Investment ---

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:

The website URL where information about the innovation is available:

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