Camosun College is committed to upholding the natural beauty and robust ecosystems of both its grounds and the larger community.
Camosun College campuses are located on the traditional territories of the Lkwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples. We acknowledge their welcome and graciousness to the students who seek knowledge here. Learn more.
Groundskeeping staff has adopted sustainable practices as a core principle and limit the college's environmental impact in the following ways:
- Integrated Pest Management- a proactive approach which prevents pest activity through the use of education, proper waste management, structural maintenance and biological and mechanical techniques.
- Right Plant, Right Place Policy- managing plants to promote native species and eradicating invasive species.
- Composting- composting of leaves, grasses and cut-offs enriches the soil, reduces weeds and retains moisture, which reduces the need for watering. Learn more about composting at Camosun.
Through these practices, and with the help of 4,000 ladybugs to fight pests, the college has been able to support a healthy ecosystem and almost eliminate the use of cosmetic chemicals on campus. These days the biggest "pest" problem at Camosun is deer, which are deterred through a combination of herbs and spices.
Garry Oak ecosystems
Camosun is spread over a hundred acres and is home to the unique Garry Oak Ecosystem. Our Native Plant Garden which is housed on the Lansdowne Campus is a great place to discover the rich biodiversity which is present on campus. Read the Native Plant Garden brochure PDF made by a former Environmental Technology student, to learn about the various species of trees, plants and grasses. To learn more about Garry Oak Ecosystems and/or volunteer to help the preservation please visit the Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovery Project Website (GOERT), Camosun Lansdowne is a selected site for restoration via GOERT.
Greenhouse Sustainability Project
In 2012 the Groundskeeping Division purchased and equipped a greenhouse for use by their department and Camosun programs, such as Environmental Technology and Horticulture. Plants will be grown for use on Camosun grounds and by Camosun programs. Come by and check them out for yourself, they are located near the Grounds buildings on Lansdowne Campus.
Biodiesel Project on hold
Facilities Services has been purchasing biodiesel since 2005. In 2010 with President's funding, the School of Arts and Science (Environmental Technology program and Chemistry) and the School of Trades and Technology (Plumbing and Pipe Trades) undertook a project to start producing biodiesel on campus. Staff from Facilities Services assembled a fully functioning bio-diesel generation plant that produces 100% bio-diesel from waste cooking oil from the Lansdowne cafeteria and Dunlop House restaurant. The biodiesel produced is used in Facility Service trucks and utility vehicles. The Grounds building location and the bio-diesel plant serve as a lab, demonstration tool and teaching aid. The unit is portable so it may be used for demonstration in various locations.
A bioswale is a landscaping technique designed to mitigate pollution from surface runoff water, and consists of a narrow, troughed drainage course with gently sloped sides filled with vegetation or gravel. Staff monitor the bioswale systems at both campuses, which were originally developed to deal with sediments carried by rainwater runoff following the construction of new buildings. At Interurban the bioswale, which was added in 2008, helps reduce the amount of silt and contaminants entering the Colquitz River watershed. As a result of the restored habitat, frogs, red-winged blackbirds and other wildlife have returned to live in the marshy area close to Interurban road.
Outdoor water use is reduced through use of native and drought-tolerant plants that are adapted to Victoria's dry summers, including Dogwood trees and Labrador Tea. Water is also preserved through the use of micro-irrigation systems, and minimized and select watering of lawns.