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Living Campus

Our Living Campus is a platform that:

  • Promotes the use of high-impact educational learning practices and enables teaching, learning and research to take place anywhere on our campus
  • Provides opportunities for experiential, global and community-based learning, collaboration, research and connection with Nature

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Living Campus initiatives are guided by sustainability principles and contribute to well-being for all.



Biodiversity Zones

Increasing biodiversity in an urban setting… Nine micro-habitats are planned, with six currently established, where students can study natural areas and urban wildlife on campus. Micro–habitats established or underway: Monarch nursery, meadow, forest floor, decomposition area, pond and disturbed/undisturbed study area. Biodiversity Site 1 Forest Floor This micro-habitat represents the conditions under a Montreal-area forest....

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Carbon Neutral Forever

The college continues to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and will offset the remainder of its carbon footprint by planting over 5000 trees on marginal land in Nicaragua. With the help of a partner organization Taking Root, Dawson’s students will increase biodiversity and create long-term employment for Nicaraguan families – a beautiful example of social...

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Collaboration Room

This room uses restorative elements within a small space to encourage learning and well-being. With its six meter living wall containing 600 plants, mezzanine, natural lighting, and meeting-friendly set-up, it is special low-stress zone designed for individuals and groups to capture their creativity and ultimately enrich student education.

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Ecological Peace Garden

On September 13, 2006, Dawson College experienced a senseless attack resulting in the death of student Anastasia De Sousa and injury to several others. The garden was proposed as a living testament to those who suffered pain and immeasurable loss. Dawson College believes that everyone has the right to learn and work in a safe...

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Meditation & Realization

Well-being initiatives are offered and being developed that include and borrow from a variety of techniques and traditions to help participants release stress, practice mindfulness and focus on positive experiences. Recent activities include yoga for peace sessions, an Inside/out inner growth through Nature walk in the peace garden or Land and Meaning Making seminar offered...

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Monarch Butterfly Nursery

The flowers of the Dawson College Ecological Peace Garden are part of a nectar corridor for monarchs flying over Montreal. College students and staff have been rearing caterpillars, caring for chrysalis and tagging the newly-merged monarch butterflies in order to increase the Monarch population. Before releasing the monarch, participants record the tag code and local...

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Rooftop Habitat Restoration

The Rooftop Gardens Project’s goal is to bring fresh, healthy, affordable and locally grown food to the Dawson Community. With three on site locations, the Rooftop gardens is not only a source of delicious produce but a place to question and re­imagine the current state of our food systems. Location: Cafeteria ­ theatre entrance, Conrod’s...

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Rooftop Honey Bees

Several bee colonies are kept on Dawson’s rooftops and the honey extracted by students in the fall. Dawson’s Campus Life & Leadership team organizes a yearly health challenge for teams of students and staff. Any team participating in physical activity equivalent to 1249 kilometres, the distance 12 female bees fly to make 1 teaspoon of...

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Urban Agriculture

Several rooftop gardens have been established that grow vegetables in self-watering containers or raised beds. Student volunteers maintain the gardens. Courses are linked to the rooftop gardens through various educational modules including organic gardening, food sovereignty and models of agricultural production in urban environments.  

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Urban Birds

Our efforts to create micro-habitats on site have helped attract birds. Examples of observations: A white-throated sparrow finds seeds and insects on our rooftop on its trip south in the fall, a cardinal finds seeds in the peace garden all winter, a peregrine falcon hunts for pigeons to feed its young, a thrush finds shelter...

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Last Modified: January 16, 2020