• The Niagara Escarpment

    Niagara Escarpment | The Canadian Encyclopedia

    By: Thurkkha Thayalalingam

    Brock University is proud to be located atop the Niagara Escarpment, an incredible topographical feature spanning southern Ontario and the United States. Officially designated as a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Biosphere Reserve, the escarpment is a focus for biodiversity conservation and a learning site for sustainability (UNESCO). Within Ontario, the Niagara Escarpment is hundreds of kilometres long from the Niagara River up to Tobermory and Manitoulin Island (Bruce Trail Conservancy). The escarpment also played a critical role in the formation of the landforms for some of the Great Lakes (Ontario, Huron, and Michigan) 

    Things to Do

    There are plenty of activities to do within the Niagara Escarpment during any season, from hiking and camping to skiing. Within the escarpment lies the Bruce Trail, the longest and oldest trail in the country (Bruce Trail Conservancy). As mentioned in one of our previous blog posts on trails in the Niagara Region, the Bruce Trail is a popular route for people of all experience levels. The Niagara Escarpment also features beautiful waterfalls, beaches, and historic sites to explore.  


    The Niagara Escarpment features countless types of ecosystems including cliffs, meadows, coniferous forests, Carolinian forests, and wetlands. The escarpment is also home to over 300 bird species, 55 mammals, 36 reptile and amphibian species, and 90 fish species, making it the Canadian Biosphere Reserve with the greatest ecological diversity (UNESCO). Organizations such as the Bruce Trail Conservancy work to preserve and protect these lands from detrimental human activities while also making the land safe and accessible to the public (Bruce Trail Conservancy). Located so close to the highly urbanized and developed Greater Toronto Area, it is important to maintain the ecological integrity of the escarpment and to also use the valuable green space as a way for people to connect with nature.

    Categories: Niagara, Outdoors, Student Contributor, Sustainability

  • Volunteering in Sustainability: How to Find Volunteer Opportunities to Complete your Living Planet Leader Certification

    By: Brenna Mervyn*

    About the Program 

    The WWF Living Planet Leader program (LPL) has provided an opportunity for students at Brock to complete a certificate in sustainability while completing their degree. LPL is a professionally recognized certification with four main pillars: volunteerism, sustainability in academics, personal sustainability, and leadership. Any student at Brock is eligible to complete this certification, regardless of program or faculty. The following post will be focused on the volunteerism pillar, and how Brock students can complete their 40 hours of volunteer work remotely or in the Niagara Region in relation to sustainability or conservation.  

    Why Volunteering is Important to Sustainability 

    Volunteering and community involvement are key factors in sustainability and conservation. Many organizations working in stewardship or conservation are underfunded. Therefore, volunteerism helps keep parks and events possible for everyone to enjoy. Conservation areas and provincial parks require volunteers to keep areas safe and clean for public use. Volunteers are also key to running community events. Community events aid immensely in spreading awareness of sustainability issues and how to create change in our everyday lives. Volunteerism is also a tool to foster a sense of pride and care for the community we live in. This also amplifies the drive to change the community for the better. Education is also a huge benefit of volunteerism. Many programs for children are volunteer-run, and therefore volunteers play a large role in educating the next generation on issues of sustainability.  

    Portals for Volunteer Opportunities 

    There are various job boards and volunteer sites that compile open volunteer opportunities. These portals are excellent tools when searching for volunteer positions. Keywords such as sustainability, conservation, environment, or climate change can help narrow down results and find a position that is right for you while filling the LPL requirements. Some useful sites are listed below.  

    Organizations and Opportunities 

    1. Organize a litter cleanup! 

    The Earth Day Great Global Cleanup is an excellent resource to register litter pickups globally. Their website outlines how to kickstart a cleanup whether it be a private or public event. Organizing a litter pickup is an excellent way to engage with the community while practicing environmental volunteerism and leadership. There is no minimum group size, so whether it be a group of 5 or a group of 50, organizing a litter pickup is a great way to get volunteer hours while enhancing local biodiversity.  

    2. Volunteering with Niagara Parks 

    Sustainable Niagara Falls | Niagara Falls Canada

    Niagara Parks works to preserve and educate the public on the natural and cultural heritage of the Niagara River Corridor. The Niagara River Corridor is a key to biodiversity in the Niagara Region and is home to hundreds of species of flora and fauna for which Niagara is known for. The Niagara Parks Commission is responsible for the Niagara Glen Naturalization Site and the Dufferin Islands, which are huge tourist destinations (especially during bird migration seasons). Conserving these areas under high stress from tourism requires work from volunteers to manage the sites and educate the community and tourists of their importance. This means that Niagara Parks offers various opportunities to get involved through special events, tree planting, or site management. Their site has a list of many volunteer opportunities, and they even offer a volunteer appreciation program for continued participation!  

    3. Volunteer with the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority 

    The NPCA is a resource management agency working on local watershed preservation and conservation. Volunteer opportunities can be found based in various fields. Whether you’re interested in working with children, site maintenance, conservation, or volunteering for special events, there are many opportunities to find the right fit for you. The NPCA is also running the Balls Falls Nature School beginning this September, which is an excellent opportunity to work with and educate children on conservation and sustainability.  

    4. Organize or participate in a BioBlitz! 

    Now, you may be asking, what on Earth is a BioBlitz? A BioBlitz is a community event which creates a biological survey of an environment to log anthropogenic impacts, population density, invasive species, and biodiversity composition. A BioBlitz encourages citizen scientists, community members, and students to participate using surveying apps such as iNaturalist to make identification quick, easy, and accurate.  Last month, Brock partnered with the Niagara Parks Commission to hold the Dufferin Islands BioBlitz which was a huge success. Not only are events like a BioBlitz fun and beneficial to research, but they also involve the community and are a great way to increase interest in issues such as invasive species. iNaturalist is a great resource to find and organize a BioBlitz, as well as Sustainability at Brock who organized the Dufferin Islands BioBlitz.  

    There are many opportunities throughout the Niagara Region for volunteering in sustainability or stewardship. What is most important is finding which opportunity is the right fit for you and your goals. When searching for volunteer positions it is useful to check recruitment sites often, so you don’t miss out on any opportunities. After completing your volunteer hours, don’t forget to upload proof of completion to your Living Planet Leader profile to fulfill the volunteerism requirement!  

    *This blog post was written as part of an assignment for ENSU 3P91: Leadership in Environmental Sustainability Internship Course. If you are interested in taking part in this course, please visit:  

    Categories: Community, Niagara, Outdoors, Student Contributor, Study Sustainability at Brock, Sustainability, Sustainability at Brock

  • Niagara Climate Change Summit: Collaborating for a Sustainable Future

    Blog Contributor: Alexandra Cotrufo

    On June 28th, 2022, the Niagara Climate Change Summit took place in Pond Inlet. The Summit was hosted by the Niagara Region in partnership with Brock University and the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority.  

    The Summit came after a motion was passed in September 2021 by the Regional Council to declare a climate change emergency. Niagara’s annual average air temperature has risen by 1.4°C since 1910, and it is expected that this number will reach 1.8°C by the year 2050, according to Brock research. More than ever before, transformational change is needed to combat and mitigate the severe impacts of climate change. 

    The Summit brought together representatives from 12 local municipalities, academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and the private sector to make a commitment to actively do more to address climate change in Niagara. 

    The day started with a traditional Indigenous opening by Dylan Ritchie (Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre) from the Saugeen First Nation, followed by a keynote presentation by Karen Farbridge (Karen Farbridge & Associates). Karen’s presentation focused on the importance of pushing for climate action at the local level, with the theme revolving around “Think global, act local.” She encouraged the Summit attendees to take bold action and collaborate with one another to build a more efficient, resilient, and sustainable Niagara. 

    Following the keynote presentation, The Regional Chair’s Youth Advisory Panel, represented by Salony Sharma (Chair) and Keegan Hedley (Vice-Chair), spoke to attendees about the effects climate change has on Niagara’s youth and the importance of climate action for future generations. Salony and Keegan urged everyone in the room to act on climate change, engage Niagara youth in discussions, and make a true commitment to achieving Net Zero by 2050. Their presentation closed with a powerful video highlighting how youth in Niagara feel about climate change. 

    Two panel discussions were later held, which focused on topics of leading environmental and climate change action in communities, and climate change action and the economy. 

    Summit attendees participated in facilitated discussions which will help inform a more cohesive climate change action plan for the Region.

    The afternoon consisted of several facilitated roundtable discussions, which focused on topics such as biodiversity, agriculture, local food and wine, sustainable transportation, home and building efficiency, and more. The roundtable session aimed to identify opportunities and barriers to advancing climate action in Niagara within various key sectors. 

    These discussions are an important first step for developing a network for collaboration, and the ideas and feedback collected will be utilized to develop a more cohesive climate change action plan for the Region. 

    Over 100 individuals, representing dozens of local organizations, signed the call to action.

    Following the roundtable discussions, Summit attendees were invited to sign a call to action as a pledge to continue engaging in important discussions surrounding climate change and sustainable development.  

    This acted as a demonstration of commitment to form partnerships, share knowledge, and accelerate action on climate change and greenhouse gas emissions in Niagara. Over 100 individuals, representing dozens of local organizations, signed the pledge. 

    The Summit acted as a foundational first step for Niagara organizations, institutions, and municipalities to commit to working together to invest in the critical change that is needed to mitigate environmental challenges and prevent further negative impact. 

    If you would like to view the presentations and panel discussions, you can find the recording on the Region’s YouTube channel or at the Niagara Climate Change Summit website. 

    Photos courtesy of Flashbox Photography.

    Categories: Climate Change, Niagara, Student Contributor, Sustainability

  • Climate Change in the Niagara Region

    Blog Contributor: Mikellena Nettos

    From increased weather events to melting polar regions, climate change impacts everyone (IPCC, 2019). According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2019) increases in global mean temperatures of less than 1 to 3 degrees Celsius above 1990 levels will cause drastic environmental changes, including benefits in certain areas and detriments in others. 

    When it comes to Canada, we can see a significant shift in the northern regions, with melting permafrost, changing biodiversity, completely altering ways of life for Indigenous Canadians (IPCC, 2019). In the southern regions, there will be more extreme heat events, especially in cities (CCCS, 2021). This will create a longer growing season and will cause a shift in what farmers decide to grow as winters will be short and wet, which will also leave less room for trees to rest between growing seasons (IPCC, 2019). This resting period is important for a tree’s metabolism to slow down, allowing for energy conservation to keep the tree alive in the cold winter months (Let’s Talk Science, 2020). 

    The region of Niagara will be impacted significantly as our economic growth is based on agriculture and tourism (The Corporation of the City of St. Catharines, 2014). The icewine industry will likely face unprecedented challenges with winter temperatures on the rise, decreasing economic value in certain areas (CCCS, 2021). In addition to this, there will be increased heat events that can cause heat stroke and heat exhaustion, which can potentially overwhelm hospitals, especially after what we have seen with COVID-19 (CCCS, 2021). 

    The Environmental Sustainability Research Centre is currently wrapping up a project with seven regional municipalities in Niagara who came together to collaborate on climate change adaptation through a partnership called Niagara Adapts. By working together, these municipal partners are discovering new ways to develop and  implement innovative solutions to combat flood events, windstorms, and heat waves in our region. According to a research survey produced through this partnership, approximately 55% of respondents have experienced community flooding and extreme heat – displaying the increased risk that residents here in the region already face. 

    As an individual, learning more about climate change in your region and advocating to municipal councils is a great way to promote climate adaptation within your community. Together we can become more resilient and adapt to this crisis we all face! 


    Canadian Centre for Climate Services of Environment and Climate Change Canada. (2018– 2021). Climate Data Canada [Climate Data by Geographic Location in Canada]. 

    City of Barrie. (2017). Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. Change-Adaptation-Strategy.pdf 


    Guide and Workbook for Municipal Climate Adaptation. 

    IPCC (2019). Climate Change and Land: an IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems [P.R. Shukla, J. Skea, E. Calvo Buendia, V. Masson-Delmotte, H.-O. Pörtner, D. C. Roberts, P. Zhai, R. Slade, S. Connors, R. van Diemen, M. Ferrat, E. Haughey, S. Luz, S. Neogi, M. Pathak, J. Petzold, J. Portugal Pereira, P. Vyas, E. Huntley, K. Kissick, M. Belkacemi, J. Malley, (eds.)]. In press. 

    Let’s Talk Science. (2020, March 16). How Do Trees Survive in Winter? 

    The Corporation of the City of St. Catharines. (2014). About Our City. St. Catharines. 

    Categories: Climate Change, Niagara, Student Contributor

  • What’s in Season: Supporting Niagara Farmers 

    Blog Contributor: Shannon Ruzgys

    Niagara has a very unique combination of deep, nutrient rich, sandy soils as well as an extremely favorable microclimate, which makes it perfect for growing grapes and other tender fruits such as peaches (Niagara’s Agriculture Profile). Did you know that Niagara is known as the fruit basket of Canada, with 2/3rd of Ontario’s tender fruit orchards being in Niagara, therefore producing most of the province’s peaches, cherries, pears, plums, prunes, and grapes (Niagara’s Agriculture Profile)? In Niagara, we are immensely lucky to be surrounded by such a wide variety of locally grown food and it is the time of year where everything is coming into season! Supporting your local farmers is not only great for reducing the environmental impact of your diet, it also helps support your local economy and foster a sense of community.   

    Source: Niagara-on-the-Lake Fruit Festivals, Vintage Hotels 

    Below is a comprehensive list of food that is in season in Ontario this spring/summer (What’s in Season, Ontario Farm Fresh). Lastly, a reminder that freezing and preserving local fruits and vegetable when they are in season is a great way to eat healthy, local food year-round! 


    Rhubarb (May-July) 

    Asparagus (May-June) 


    Strawberries (June-July) 

    Peas (June-September) 

    Lettuce (June-September, grown locally in greenhouses year-round) 

    Cherries (June-July) 

    Beets (June-September) 

    Beans (June-September) 


    Peaches (July-August) 

    Nectarines (July-August) 

    Garlic (Harvested in July, available through November-December) 

    Sweet Corn (July-August) 

    Tomatoes (July-September) 

    Raspberries (July-September)  

    Potatoes (Harvested in July/August, available through November-December) 

    Plums (July-September) 

    Blueberries (July-September) 

    Cucumber (July-September) 

    Peppers (July-September) 

    Onions (July-September) 

    Cabbage (July-September) 

    Cauliflower (July-September) 

    Carrots (July-September)  


    Pears (August-September) 

    Grapes (August-October, however ice wine grapes are harvested in January) 

    Eggplant (August-October) 

    Apples (August-November)  


    Squash (September-November) 

    Pumpkin (September-November)  

    What’s in Season, Ontario Farm Fresh 
    Categories: Agriculture, Niagara, Student Contributor

  • Brock University and Niagara College Team up to Host a Virtual Spring Clean-Up 

    Blog Contributor: Shannon Ruzgys

    Brock University and Niagara College have joined forces to host a virtual spring cleanup from Saturday, April 17th to Sunday, April 25th, 2021. The institutions have also created a virtual cleanup toolkit in order to engage and empower the community to join along.  

    With global issues such as climate change, it is easy to feel a sense of hopelessness about the environment. Taking action by cleaning up your local community is a way to be an advocate for sustainability, while also creating a sense of hope that small actions can help target big issues. The goal of the toolkit is to empower individuals to make a difference within their communities by providing them with resources to safely host their own virtual clean-up anywhere, anytime!   

    How do I sign up for the virtual clean-up?

    Click this link to sign up via Experience BU and participate anytime between Saturday, April 17th to Sunday, April 25th 

    Why should I join or host a virtual clean-up?

    • Spending time outdoors and engaging in conservation activities can help foster a connection to local communities and ecosystems. 
    • There is a strong connection between time spent in nature and reduced negative emotions including anxiety, depression, and irritability as well as headaches and indigestion (Ontario Parks, 2020) 
    • You can help better your own local community and make a difference for the environment. 
    • Become aware of the garbage that is most common in your own community and help spread awareness. 
    • Students can help fulfil volunteer hours for the WWF-Canada Living Planet Leader Certification

    What is in the virtual clean-up toolkit?

    There are currently three guides available: for students, for community members, and for organizations. Each guide provides unique resources for the respective group.  

    The Student Guide Includes:

    • Resources about how your participation in the virtual clean-up can contribute towards your Living Planet Leader Certification  
    • A list of tips to help you get started with your own virtual clean-up 
    • COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.  
    • A virtual clean-up checklist 

     If you have any questions about how to join or host a virtual clean-up, please reach out to  

    Categories: Events, Niagara, Student Contributor, Sustainability at Brock

  • Inequalities in Niagara And How You Can Help Eliminate Them

    Blog Contributor: Margaux Turk

    The United Nations (UN’s) has developed 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals are important for everyone to have a better understanding of how climate change, inequalities and health issues affect everyone around the world, in a multitude of ways. Understanding all of the UN’s SDGs is important to be able to accomplish these goals, and bringing them to a local level can help make them more manageable and easier to tackle.

    There are many steps that people can take to help accomplish these goals but in this blog I will talk about economic inequality. I will be focusing on income inequality, how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected people’s income as well as how income affects housing challenges, and what we can do in the Niagara region to help.

    Before COVID-19 hit; the Niagara region was already one of the toughest job markets in Canada with an average of 73 applicants per job listing. As of May 2020 over 21,500 people in Niagara1 have either lost their job or been laid-off for the time being during lockdown . Businesses are shut down or have had to change how they operate because of the restrictions put in place by the government. These restrictions aim to try to get a handle on, and prevent COVID-19 from infecting more people than it already has. This unfortunately has greatly impacted the region’s economy as well as its residents.

    The impacts of COVID-19 have been felt worldwide, it is estimated by the international Labor Organization that “nearly half of the global workforce is at risk of losing their livelihoods” 3. It is also estimated that we are likely at the verge of another global recession just as bad, if not worse, than the one that occurred in 2009. The potential damage will only increase during these unprecedented times where marginalized and poor people have been hit the hardest and have become more vulnerable and susceptible to these issues. Those who were already experiencing financial instability have had their issues exacerbated by the state of flux caused by the COVID-19 Lockdowns.

    When businesses are able to open up in the future, the lasting effects of COVID-19 could potentially lead to even less job opportunities. This means that the numbers of people experiencing poverty will continue to grow instead of shrink, unless there is something we can do to help the people experiencing hardship. COVID-19 has had a far longer and drastic impact than anyone could have predicted at the beginning stages of this pandemic. It has lasted longer and affected everyone in different ways. Even those who were not affected financially from the pandemic likely have had their mental health impacted due to the stress and isolation caused by the ongoing lockdowns and restrictions.

    In Niagara there are a plethora of things we could and should be doing to try and prevent the marginalized from suffering. One of the struggles individuals in Niagara face is the lack of affordable housing units. We have a severe lack of rental properties and are witnessing the continued increase of rental costs that are occurring across the region. One solution is to have municipalities in Niagara build houses and apartment buildings with the sole purpose of having them being affordable housing for local people and their families. Ways in which we can do this is petitioning, calling our local government to let them know this issue is not going unnoticed and we expect them to do something about it. The more attention we give to this issue the more likelihood of those in charge will pay attention and make a change.

    With more affordable housing we will also be able to address and help those who are experiencing homelessness. There are over 500 homeless people in the Niagara region, almost 150 of them being children2. If we can provide adequate housing and better the shelters already in place for them it would be the stepping stone needed to start bettering their situation. The first step of this is ensuring that the current homeless shelters in place already are welcoming to all, treating people with kindness and respect, and have the resources and knowledge necessary to connect the homeless with appropriate social services and help anyone with mental health issues, disabilities or any other issues which may be making their progress harder.

    If you yourself are a resident of Niagara or St Catherines and have walked downtown on St. Paul, chances are you have walked past many people who are suffering from homelessness. You may have talked to them, you may not have, but if you have then you may know just how human these people are. Something many people seem to forget when driving or walking past them.

    While this blog has mainly focused on one aspect of the UN’s 17 SDGs (economic inequalities and housing issues), and while reducing inequalities and ensuring no one is left behind are integral to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (United Nations, 2021), it is important to note that all SDGs are interconnected and rely on each other. In other words you cannot complete one without also working on another.

    To really eradicate the inequalities people are facing here in Niagara (and all over) we have to consider many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These include SDGS one

    (1) through ten (10) shown in the photo below. By focussing on all of these SDGs we can ensure that everyone has an equal start. And can ensure more can help the progress of sustainable development and all of the SDGs.

    If you are interested in helping be the change but are unsure of how to start, take a look at this link to help give you some ideas on where to start. For more information on the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals follow this link to gain more information on the topic. If you are wondering what your business can do to participate this is a good place to start your research on the topic, and if you’re looking for another blog type post on the topics be sure to come back to read more blogs about the topic and check out this one which is already posted!

    Please take time out of your day to view the UN’s website about the SDG’s and how YOU can change your daily life to help make life better for everyone and the planet we live on.

    Things You Can Do

    If you can, we should all carry something on our person in case you see someone who needs help, especially during the cold winter months.

    Items can include but are not limited to: winter boots, jackets, mitts and hats, a new toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, dry shampoo, feminine products, non-perishable food or easy snacks such as granola bars or fruit like oranges, bananas, apples etc.

    Donate to a local organization that brings these items right to those in need. If you don’t already, making these changes are necessary because “greater efforts are needed to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, and invest more in health, education, social protection and decent jobs especially for young people, migrants and refugees and other vulnerable communities”3.


    1. Howard, G. (2020, May 08). Study shows 21,500 Niagarans have lost their jobs During COVID crisis. Retrieved January 17, 2021, from

    2. Niagara to get a count on homeless population. (2020, February 25). Retrieved February 17, 2021, from

    3. Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere – United Nations Sustainable Development. (2021, February 3). United Nations Sustainable Development; United Nations.

    Categories: Niagara, Student Contributor

  • Update to the Niagara Region Garbage Retrieval Schedule 

    Blog Contributor: Mikellena Nettos

    In case you missed itNiagara Region will be updating their garbage retrieval schedule effective October 19th, 2020. Instead of putting your garbage out once per week, you will now only be able to set out two bags or cans once every other week. The region will still collect recycling bins and compost bins weekly, which allows people to shift their waste towards recycling and compost bins instead of the garbageAccording to the regional website, more than half of the average garbage bag in Niagara contains materials that could have been recycled or composted.  

    What can you do to reduce your waste?  

    • Order less take out. Most containers and plastic bags used to deliver food end up in the garbage instead of being properly disposed of. 
    • Make sure to rinse recyclable materials before placing them in the bin. Did you know that greasestained carboard goes into the compost, not the recycling bin? 
    • Know which bin it belongs in – if you are unsure which bin an item belongs in click here  
    • Put all food waste in the compost to avoid rotting garbage. No one wants to deal with smelly garbage for two weeks. 
    • Follow zero waste pages on Instagram or twitter for helpful tips! 

    Additionally, here is a link to a previous post that shares tips on how to “Recycle Like a Pro” in Niagara.  

    Do the right thing – reduce, reuse, and recycle.  

    Together we can make the world a cleaner place. 

    Categories: Niagara, Student Contributor, Waste

  • Environmental sustainability is the theme as Brock teams up with Niagara Parks

    The longstanding relationship between Brock University and the Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) has entered a new era after the two institutions inked an agreement to work more closely in developing knowledge and practices in protecting the environment.

    In a ceremony Friday (April 20) at the NPC’s School of Horticulture, Brock Provost and Vice-President Academic Tom Dunk joined Niagara Parks Chair Janice Thomson in signing a Memorandum of Understanding designed to enhance the conservation practices of both organizations, while creating educational and research opportunities for Brock students and faculty through their work with Niagara Parks staff.

    Addressing members of the Parks Commission, Dunk praised the agreement as a reassuring sign of two organizations sharing a commitment to benefit people in the surrounding region, and far beyond.

    “We are both significant Niagara institutions that share a responsibility to use our resources and abilities for the greater good of our own community, and indeed of the whole planet,” said Dunk.

    A central player in this rekindled relationship is Brock’s Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, whose Director, Ryan Plummer, was a key architect in developing the MOU and encouraging the collaboration behind it.

    The MOU calls for creating an Environmental Stewardship Initiative (EESI) that uses the expertise and resources of both organizations to increase environmental stewardship through public events and, in the case of students, through co-op education opportunities, course work and research.

    Plummer said an example of the potential for this MOU can be seen at the Niagara Glen Nature Area, where some 130,000 visitors a year hike down trails through the forested Niagara Gorge to the edge of the rushing Niagara River. Staff and researchers from both organizations can study public perceptions of the environment in a setting like that, to better understand which stewardship activities work best and which can be improved upon.

    “The MOU will advance the understanding and practice of environmental stewardship,” said Plummer. “Our partnership with the NPC addresses this two-fold challenge and does so in an iconic landscape. Engaging Brock faculty and students directly with staff from the NPC is sustainability science in action.”

    NPC Chair Thomson said the timing of the new agreement with is ideal.

    “This partnership reflects Niagara Parks’ steadfast commitment to the environment,” said Thomson, “and we look forward to continuing to work closely with Brock University and its team at the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre in further advancing and promoting our shared goals.”

    Brock’s ESRC, a part of the Faculty of Social Sciences, is one of Canada’s leading environmental research units, encouraging research excellence in environmental sustainability and engaging in knowledge mobilization that impacts the environment.

    Niagara Parks in an agency of the Ontario government, entrusted to preserve and protect the lands surrounding the Niagara River. Besides managing millions of visitors each year to its Niagara Falls attractions, the Commission operates a wide range of facilities along the Niagara River between Fort Erie and Niagara-on-the-Lake, including historic sites, golf courses, nature trails, restaurants and its renowned School of Horticulture.

    Story originally published in The Brock News.

    Categories: Niagara, Student Contributor, Sustainability