© Marc Sardi / WWF-Canada lavender growing in an urban garden

BIOPOLIS PROJECTS

Explore Biopolis projects and discover how citizens, researchers, institutions, businesses and community organizations are supporting biodiversity in cities across Canada.

Biodiversity Projects in Canadian Cities

The projects listed on Biopolis are diverse and a source of inspiration for all. They were selected according to their objectives to enhance and preserve urban biodiversity in cities across Canada. Explore our featured projects to discover how citizens, researchers, institutions, businesses and community organizations are working to support urban biodiversity.

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    Landscaping of the Roger-Paquet Pond

    Landscaping of the Roger-Paquet Pond

    Over the past few years, the land surrounding Roger-Paquet Pond, located just a few steps from the city centre, has suffered many disturbances. Beavers have knocked down several trees, and invasive alien species, such as Japanese knotweed and Phragmites, posed a real threat to biodiversity and access to the pond. In 2018, work was carried out to lower the nearby Zachée-Langlais dam, dropping water levels of the Nicolet river and pond to critical points. Major measures had to be taken by the City to maintain this historic site with high ecological value.

    With a limited budget and a great desire to work in collaboration, the Environment Department for the City of Victoriaville set up a project to enhance the wetland. The area was made more accessible to people through the addition of a wooden path and rest area. The project also made the spot more educational, thanks to the addition of interpretive signs on birds. Additional effort was also taken to make the area more beneficial for wildlife, with the planting of native trees and shrubs and the installation of nest boxes, rocks and logs for ducks and other species.

    Since it opened in the fall of 2019, bird watchers, teachers, yoga enthusiasts, photographers and families have made this place their own.

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    Protection and development of Boucher Forest’s future park

    Protection and development of Boucher Forest’s future park

    The Boucher Forest Foundation’s mission is to protect the biodiversity of the Boucher Forest. Following the signing of a management agreement between the City of Gatineau and the Boucher Forest Foundation, the Foundation is now in charge of the development of the future Boucher Forest Park, a park whose main purpose is the conservation of biodiversity.

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    Seine River Greenspace Enhancement Project

    Seine River Greenspace Enhancement Project

    The Seine River Greenspace Enhancement Project includes several initiatives focused on connecting people with the Seine River as well as enhancing natural habitats. As Winnipeg grows, so too does the use of its remaining natural spaces. While it’s wonderful that people are spending time in nature, the increasing human activity is eroding riverbanks, damaging sensitive vegetation, and degrading upland habitats. This project aims to enhance the use and appreciation of the Seine River Greenway while protecting its natural spaces.

    This project aims to:

    • Restore native prairie on the upper banks of the river
    • Repair steep sections of eroding riverbank
    • Enhance floodplain trails to protect vegetation and improve safety
    • Install interpretive signs
    • Create an interpretive node for small tour groups
    • Improve public launch sites for canoes and kayaks
    • Create a land-integrated accessible kayak/canoe dock

    The accessible dock will be the first of its kind in Winnipeg. While more funding is still needed, the goal is to install a dock that will be usable by a variety of people with a range of abilities, ages and sizes. Project partners: The City of Winnipeg and Scatliff+Miller+Murray.

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    Eco-Scavenger Hunt Series

    Eco-Scavenger Hunt Series

    Meewasin organizes and leads group activities that encourage and enable the community to take part in citizen science projects to help monitor the biodiversity within Meewasin’s conservation zone. With these projects, we bring awareness and help educate on issue of declining biodiversity and invasive species, and guide and assist participants in making accurate observations, recording their sightings and submitting data.

    The data collected through citizen science then helps inform Meewasin’s conservation work on habitat, connectivity and ecosystem services for the future, including but not limited to: prescribed fire, targeted conservation grazing, wildlife friendly fencing and native species planting.

    All data retained is used as part of a valley-wide project monitoring the health of the area in an urban environment. We use this data for a five-year cycle report called State of the Valley. Participants are encouraged to share their data with citizen science apps including iNaturalist and eBird.

     

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    Save Our Seine Landcare

    Save Our Seine Landcare

    SOS Landcare is an initiative seeking to restore areas overrun by invasive (non-native) plants and encourage the growth of wildflowers native to the area. Landcare volunteers also clear winter garbage, plant shrubs and trees, clear storm damage on the paths, and become the local eyes for the river and land.

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    Camosun Bog Habitat Restoration

    Camosun Bog Habitat Restoration

    Camosun Bog is a rare and beautiful ecosystem located within Pacific Spirit Park, on the west side of Vancouver, which faces risk of degradation through damaging human activity. Since 1995, the volunteers of the Camosun Bog Restoration Group have worked hard to restore and conserve the Camosun Bog through research, planning, raising awareness and weekly restoration work on the ecosystem. We work to restore native bog species, remove invasive species, monitor water quality levels, implement new projects to promote bog species growth, monitor biodiversity, raise awareness through community events and through educational outreach.

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    Restoration of the Molson Marsh

    Restoration of the Molson Marsh

    In 2015, the Comité de surveillance Louis-Riel (CSLR) initiated landscaping and restoration activities of the Molson Marsh in order to render it more accessible for the public to enjoy this unique urban habitat. The Molson Marsh is located in Boisé-Jean-Milot Park, at the corner of Langelier Boulevard and Bélanger Street, in the borough of Mercier – Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. Within the framework of the project, the main path was restored and a 20 meter long boardwalk was constructed. Nine interpretation signs were also installed in order to inform visitors of the responsible ways to enjoy nature and of the elements of biodiversity that are present on site. Over the next few years, the CSLR wishes to pursue actions to preserve and restore the Molson Marsh.

    Boisé-Jean-Milot Park boasts a distinctive topography that includes a steep slope at the foot of which an ancient stream bed lies and where the marsh is located. This wetland plays an important role for the park’s biodiversity. Recently discovered, this water feature was concealed by a dense colony of Common Reed, which was invading the site in question. Measures to eradicate Common Reed have been deployed within the framework of this project in order to allow water to once again fill the marsh.

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    Protection, Restoration and Highlighting of Thomas-Chapais Park

    Protection, Restoration and Highlighting of Thomas-Chapais Park

    Thomas-Chapais Park encompasses one of the richest woodlands found in the eastern portion of the Island of Montreal. The park covers an area of 15,2 hectares and is home to over 11,000 trees and to an impressive diversity of native plant and animal species. In order to preserve the park’s biodiversity and ecological value, a habitat protection and restoration project, funded by the Fondation Hydro-Québec pour l’environnement, was developed. The project has three components:

    Education and outreach

    • An educational pamphlet, aimed at raising public awareness with regards to the protection and richness of the woodland, will be created and distributed to visitors and other interested citizens;
    • A program of educational activities will be developed and offered to youth in the neighbourhood;
    • A network of interpretive signage will be developed along the paths that will allow visitors to learn about the park’s biodiversity and the ways to preserve it;
    • An educational website will be created in order for citizens to learn about Thomas-Chapais Park and its biodiversity.

    Buckthorn eradication

    Uprooting and removal activities will be organized in order to eradicate buckthorn, or at least, to slow down rapid propagation of this invasive alien species. Furthermore, because buckthorn form a dense opaque wall-like bush, control operations will increase the feeling of safety among citizens in the park.

    Restoration of biodiversity

    Trees and shrubs will be planted in order to restrain buckthorn regeneration and to offer complementary habitat and food sources for wildlife.

    All activities will be planned and executed by the coordinator in charge of biodiversity projects at éco-quartier Mercier – Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, in collaboration with the Thomas-Chapais Park Citizen Committee.

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    Relationship between soil fungus and spread of Norway Maple

    Relationship between soil fungus and spread of Norway Maple

    Do soil fungal communities facilitate invasion of temperate forests by the Norway Maple? – Dawson College – Concordia University – UQAM

    The invasion of exotic plant species is a global phenomenon which is significantly altering native plant diversity and ecosystem function. However, the underlying mechanisms by which some introduced, exotic species successfully spread and displace native species remain poorly understood and the consequences of these invasions on the below-ground components of native communities are largely unknown.

    Plants in terrestrial ecosystems have evolved in direct and indirect contact with a multitude of soil organisms and the interactions between plants and soil microbes strongly influence both plant and soil community composition and ecosystem processes. As such, the balance of these plant-microbe interactions can play an influential role in mediating the success of plant invasions. In particular, the mutualistsic symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi can play an influential role in the invasion of introduced species.

    The Norway Maple is perhaps the most invasive species of trees found in the Province of Québec and is reducing species diversity in invaded areas and is inhibiting the growth of the native Sugar Maple. Both Sugar and Norway maple form symbiotic relationships with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), yet we do not know whether invasive and native maples benefit from associations with AMF in the same ways or to the same extent. Also, there have been no field studies comparing the AMF communities in the roots of the Norway Maple and native maple species in Québec.

    Therefore, the aims of this study are to:  assess the environmental determinants of the AMF community structure in Sugar Maple and Norway Maple; compare the species composition and colonization rate of AMF communities in native and invasive species of Maple using cutting-edge molecular approach (i.e., genomics) and test whether AMF and soil fungal communities equally affect the growth of native and invasive species using greenhouse experiments.

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    Environmental Stewardship Program (PIE)

    Environmental Stewardship Program (PIE)

    A registered charitable organization founded in 1986, Les amis de la montagne’s network includes citizens from a variety of associations allied with the heads of philanthropic foundations and company presidents. Les amis de la montagne exists to protect and enhance Mount Royal through community involvement and environmental education. Through its advocacy initiatives, education and awareness-raising activities, as well as enhancement and improvement projects, Les amis de la montagne provides the community with the opportunity to exchange ideas and become involved in the preservation of Mount Royal.

    They established an environmental stewardship program (PIE) in 2007 to build a more thorough understanding of the ecosystem of Mount Royal using their 25-year experience in leadership and volunteer involvement with the community, as well as longstanding partnerships with the City of Montreal and large institutional property owners on the mountain. But first and foremost, the PIE responds to the request for Montrealers to get involved in protecting their environment, providing meaningful gestures to safeguard the future of the planet.

    Environmental activities include planting trees and shrubs of native species, monitoring the growth and survival of planted trees, cutting and removing buckthorn, and maintaining young trees in their educational nursery. All proposed activities are supervised by professionals and are approached scientifically to document important research, improving knowledge and understanding of methods of intervention in the natural environment.

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    Controlling Japanese Knotweed

    Controlling Japanese Knotweed

    Comité ZIP Jacques-Cartier and Comité ZIP des Seigneuries have joined forces to build understanding and awareness of the Japanese knotweed problem in communities, and have developed tools to reduce the impact of the invasive species. The goals are to stop its spread through preventative measures, detection and rapid response targeting the major pathways of introduction. In addition, creating and implementing awareness tools has helped facilitate action on the ground to mitigate the spread of Japanese knotweed.

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    Monitoring Invasive Alien Species

    Monitoring Invasive Alien Species

    The Jacques Cartier ZIP Committee has been mandated by the ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte aux changements climatiques (Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change) to monitor the evolution of invasive alien plants along the St. Lawrence River. All sites are inventoried on a three-year rotation.

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