This project hopes to establish a collaborative and resilient network of sustainable food systems around Macdonald Campus, fostering partnerships and enhancing local initiatives within the community.
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Around Mac Campus, several sustainability-related projects exist but there is a blatant lack of communication and collaboration between them, which limits their potential and resilience. This project’s impacts are both global and local. On the one hand, a participatory approach to connect these sustainable food-related projects is essential to create a sense of community around Mac and make a real difference in using the synergy of all the projects to create a local and sustainable food system. Moreover, this project aims to enhance the ecosystem services of these local networked initiatives, especially to improve pollinator habitat in the face of unprecedented insect decline.
The primary aim of our project is establish a network which integrates the different sustainable food-related initiatives and organizations around Mac Campus. This will effectively create a local regenerative food system that will offer habitat to native wildlife, including beneficial insects and pollinators, and foster symbiotic relationships between these various associations.
The community stakeholders with which we will foster collaboration and construct a more resilient food system around Mac are: MPSG, MSEG, Ugly but Loved, the McGill Senneville Food Forest, Ste. Anne’s permaculture gardens, Kahnawà:ke, JAC, and the McGill Apiculture Association.
In order to accomplish this, we will hire one Mac Food System Coordinator and one Gardens Supervisor. The former would focus on facilitating the integration and collaboration between our partners and stakeholders, including maintaining strong relationships within the community and hosting events and workshops. This individual would also be in charge of co-supervising 6-8 student research internships/courses along with designated professors, which would involve creating course content, assembling educational resources, working directly with the interns, and holding weekly check-in meetings with them. The latter would primarily be focused on the hands-on expansion of the MPSG and the McGill Senneville Food Forest, through coordinating volunteer projects and managing the budget.
Weekly meetings and seminars will take place will take place in the MPSG and the Senneville Food Forest with the team of interns and volunteers, as well as larger monthly stakeholder meetings. Regular events and workshops on improving pollinator habitat, enhancing ecosystem services in agroecosystems, and building community will be organized by the network in collaboration with all partners, and an Outdoor Classroom will be constructed in the MPSG as a community space for our summer seminar series, Macdonald classes, students, professors, and residents of Ste. Anne to enjoy. We aim to intensify our involvement with the space to ensure future sustainability and selfreliance, and eventual integration into the Community Engagement Center. We will directly contribute efforts towards the management, revival, and reintegration of the McGill Food Forest, a previous SPF project, along with MSEG.
We are working in collaboration with Symbiosyn on their Indigenous Food Sovereignty Project with the Mohawk community of Kahnawà:ke as well as the Crossroads Program for Indigenous Students at JAC and in collaboration with Indigenous Awareness Week at McGill, opening up the space for them to sow their traditional seeds on their traditional land as one way to reclaim their food sovereignty.
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