A group of undergraduates at McGill University are working to give downtown students, and others, access to gardening space and a better connection to their food. Access to green space is difficult for downtown dwellers and even more difficult with the recent (temporary) closing of 167 community garden plots. It is especially difficult for the city’s many university students, who are much more likely to be apartment dwellers, and much less likely to be in town long enough to get access to the increasingly rare garden plots.
Campus Crops formed this winter with the goal of identifying underused spaces on the McGill campus and turning them into productive agricultural land. They currently have space behind the McGill School of Environment where they have germinated their first crops, and have plans to work with Santropol Roulant and the Edible Campus Project in gardening and holding workshops for urban gardeners this summer. The two groups both have gardens on the McGill campus, and plan to hold workshops on balcony and fire-escape gardening, among others, this summer.
Campus Crops has also submitted a proposal to the City of Montreal to turn the sloping area on the corner of McTavish and Dr. Penfield into a student-run terrace garden. Montréal’s First Strategic Plan for Sustainable Development/ Premier plan stratégique de développement durable de la collectivité montréalaise identifies support for urban agriculture as one of the priority goals for 2007-2009.
Photo from Alex Bachmayer