Sustainability at Macdonald Campus

FMT students begin the planting of 200 trees on the Macdonald Campus to celebrate McGill's bicentennary
FMT students begin the planting of 200 trees on the Macdonald Campus to celebrate McGill's bicentennary. Photo by Caitlin MacDougall.

The Sustainability of Operations at Macdonald Campus Task Force, established by Dean Anja Geitmann in November 2019, is dedicated to raising awareness of current and future sustainability initiatives at Macdonald Campus, and to allow for transparency as Macdonald Campus sets, and achieves, various goals in the years to come.

The task force is comprised of employees and student groups from various parts of the campus, whose goal is to establish new initiatives that are both sustainable and meaningful to its community members.

In 2020, the task force surveyed the Mac Campus community to get a sense of the issues that were pertinent to their colleagues and evaluate their knowledge of existing sustainability initiatives. The results revealed common themes including banning single-use items, diversifying the green space, and ‘greening’ the campus infrastructure.

We thank those who participated for their valuable input, and hope to embark on many new and exciting sustainability projects with active participation from the Mac community.

Inspiring ideas
Current sustainability


Mission Statement

To provide awareness of, support to, and implementation of sustainability initiatives at Macdonald Campus.

Learn more about McGill's Climate and Sustainability Action Plan (2020-2025)


McGill Dossiers:

Developing Sustainable Solutions

Le développement durable, ça nous connaît

Current sustainability initiatives at Macdonald Campus

Find out more about current sustainability initiatives at Macdonald Campus and how to get involved:

Ongoing and Future Initiatives

Subcommittees and initiatives:

  1. Natural and Built Environment. Subgroup Chair: Lindsay Flood
    • Bicentennial Tree Planting Initiative: plant 200 trees in honour of the McGill Bicentennial (Fall 2020-Fall 2021) (Project leads: Lindsay Flood, Franco Nardi, David Wees)
  2. Waste Management. Subgroup Chair: Eby Noroozi
  3. Food Systems. Subgroup Chair: Ainsley Merk
  4. Education, Communication, and Outreach. Subcommittee Chair: Lindsay Flood

Contact Us

For general inquiries, please contact sustainability.mac [at]

  • Professor Cynthia Kallenbach, Assistant Professor in Department of Natural Resource Sciences (Chair of Task Force; Chair of Education and Communication Subgroup)
  • Professor Jan Adamowski, Bioresource Engineering (Co-Chair of Task Force)
  • lindsay.flood [at] (Lindsay Flood) (Chair of Natural and Built Environment Subgroup)
  • Eby Noorzi, Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry (Chair of Waste Management Subgroup)
  • ainsley.merk [at] (Ainsley Merk), (Chair of Food Systems Subgroup)
  • McGill Office of Sustainability

Mac Sustainability in the News

OCTOBER 22 | Macdonald Campus Tree Planting Project Complete
The Macdonald Campus Tree Planting Project, led by the Macdonald Campus Sustainability Working Group and Plant Science Faculty Lecturer David Wees, completed its 3rd and final phase on October 20 and 22.

The project was rolled out three installments: the first, which took place in October 2020, saw 20 trees planted west of the Eco-residence; the second, in May 2021, saw another 80 trees added along the waterfront side of Lakeshore Road, east of Tadja Hall. Most recently, on October 20 and 22, FMT students and other McGill Community volunteers collectively planted the final 100 trees in Murray Park and along the cycling path on the south side of Macdonald Campus--between the Old Power House and Rivermead staff residences--bringing to the total number planted to 200, in recognition of McGill's Bicentennial.

The response to a call for volunteers was overwhelmingly positive, said David Wees, who explained that the volunteer sign up sheet had to be closed early as they quickly reached the maximum participant level. "We had 33 volunteers, all of whom were McGill people--mainly students--including several from the Downtown Campus, who were willing to trek out to the 'far west' to help plant tree!" he added. In addition to Wees, project leaders Frieda Beauregard, Lindsay Flood and Franco Nardi extend their gratitude to the dedicated McGill volunteers, without whom this project couldn't have been completed.

Special thanks to Anne Godbout of the Morgan Arboretum, who lent the group spades so more volunteers could dig; Prof. Don Smith (Dept. of Plant Science) hooked up a garden house to the outdoor tap at his campus residence to aid volunteers with watering trees; Laura Caralampides (Horticulture Center) provided volunteers with apples from the Mac Market; and Jeanne Page and her crew from Facilities Management who took care of ordering the trees, lending tools and supplying compost as well as helping with the actual planting.

The project was made possible through the McGill Sustainability Projects Fund.

Read more in Le Delit (French)

Volunteers plant trees at Mac CampusMAY 8, 2021 | Mac Campus Tree Planting Initiative Progress Report: Phase II complete!
The Sustainability of Operations at Macdonald Campus Working Group extends a huge thanks to everyone who joined them May 6-7, planting 80 more trees and shrubs along the lakefront greenspace to the east of Tadja Hall as part of Phase II of the Macdonald Campus Tree Planting Initiative. The team is now halfway to its goal of 200 trees by the end of 2021.
The Mac Campus team was overwhelmed by the more than 140 volunteers who generously offered up their time and energy to help beautify and regenerate the campus--due to covid restrictions however, only 42 people (in addition to the Campus Care Team) were able to participate in the event. The team looks forward to reconnecting with its enthusiastic and hard-working volunteers for the third and final phase of the project, which will take place in fall 2021. Stay tuned for details!

APR 22, 2021 | The Macdonald Campus Sustainability Working Group’s latest initiative: The Native Pollinator Habitat Project, undertaken in partnership with neighbouring John Abbott College, is set to reduce the Campus’ environmental impact and improve the ecology of the surrounding community. The project is supported by the McGill Sustainability Project Fund and a World Wildlife Fund Go Wild School Grant.
Led by Dr. Frieda Beauregard, BSc(AgEnvSc)’04, MSc’07, PhD’16, lecturer in Plant Science and Curator of the McGill University Herbarium, the project was spurred by the alarming habitat loss among pollinators like wild bees, an essential part of our ecosystem that help to ensure the propagation of different plant species.

The 2020 Sustainability of Operations Award winner is the Ecological Improvement of Dairy Cow Pastures at Macdonald Campus Project. This project has created a sustainable pasture system at Macdonald Campus Farm which features a rotational grazing system for cattle, the addition of approximately 700 trees, the installation of water lines for access to fresh water, and the purchase of a mobile shade umbrella to protect cattle from the sun.

NOV 24, 2020 | Macdonald Campus: Working together toward a sustainable future. Tree-planting project is first initiative of Mac working group. The working group, with support from McGill’s Sustainability Projects Fund, recently received a green light on its first project proposal: a tree planting initiative, the first stage of which took place in October 2020. Volunteers – including faculty, staff and students from McGill’s Farm Management & Technology Program – planted 20 trees between the S-Road and Eco-Residences at Macdonald Campus. Subsequent phases will see 80 more trees planted next spring, and 100 more in fall 2021.

Plantation d’arbres en accéléré au campus Macdonald de McGill. « La plantation d’arbres sur le campus Macdonald, on en fait depuis des décennies. Mais on s’est engagé à en faire beaucoup plus au cours des prochaines cinq années dans un objectif de développement durable. On veut, entre autres, essayer de diminuer les gaz à effet de serre (GES) », indique le directeur associé du programme de gestion et de technologies agricoles, David Wees.

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