© 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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    Niakwa Trail Rain Garden

    Niakwa Trail Rain Garden

    The rain garden is designed to collect storm water runoff from the roof and parking lot of the Great Canadian Superstore on St. Anne’s Road in Winnipeg, with a catchment size of 9860 square meters (2.4 acres). The garden was initially planted with 670 native plants of 58 different species, covering an area of 460 square meters. The plants and soil act as a natural filtration system, removing pollution and contaminants from the water. The water then drains through an underground pipe to the Seine River, providing clean water downstream. Since the initial planting, the rain garden has continued to be maintained and supplemented with additional plantings.

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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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    Ecosystem Management Program in Montréal’s large parks

    Ecosystem Management Program in Montréal’s large parks

    The Ecosystem Management Program provides for knowledge acquisition on ecosystems, ecological evaluation, monitoring of components of interest, as well as field interventions aiming to protect and enhance biological diversity in Montréal’s large parks. Ecosystem management maintains a balance between public access and protection of large parks’ ecological integrity. The Program supports informed decision-making when projects and activities are undertaken, in an effort to protect and minimize impacts on natural habitats and to ensure that their ecological value or integrity are not compromised. The Program has been implemented by the City for over twenty years.

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    ILEAU

    ILEAU

    The ILEAU project (interventions in local environment and urban architecture) is a program running until 2017 that fights urban heat islands in eastern Montreal. Coordinated by the CRE-Montreal (Regional Council for the Environment of Montreal) (CRE-Montreal) the project is being realized in close collaboration with several local and regional partners who are working together to create major changes in the area. The entire community is invited to tangibly participate in the project by taking action on the ground.

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    Phytoremediation of Eastern Montreal industrial sites

    Phytoremediation of Eastern Montreal industrial sites

    Use of phytoremediation to rehabilitate former industrial sites in eastern Montreal – IRBV – Université de Montréal

    This project is conducted by the Institut de recherche en biologie végétale (IRBV) with the financial support of the Service du développement économique de la Ville de Montréal and the Green Municipal Fund of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and close collaboration with the managers and citizens of the Borough of Rivière-des-Prairies – Pointe-aux-Trembles. The objective is to use phytoremediation to rehabilitate contaminated sites and to restore their ecological integrity while producing biomass that may be positively repurposed. The project adheres to a phytomanagement strategy that agrees with the principles of industrial ecology and that promotes sustainable influx management of matter and energy, where refuse from a specific industry becomes a resource for another. Thus, biomass of plants used for soil decontamination may be used to fuel composting and other bioproduct plants.

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    Biquette à Montréal – AU/LAB

    Biquette à Montréal – AU/LAB

    Within the innovative movement of urban agriculture, Biquette à Montréal is working to bring pastoral elements back with initiatives to help sheep graze in the city. The main objective of the pilot project, carried out in Pelican Park, Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie, is the introduction of eco-grazing in contemporary Montreal. Biquette à Montréal was developped within the Urban Agriculture Lab (AU/LAB).

    Biquette à Montréal is summed up by three words: graze, educate and enjoy. Graze, by creating grazing areas in Montreal; educate, by creating a public space for citizen education about urban agriculture showcasing their flock of lambs; enjoy, by creating a meeting place with agriculture, which helps us connect to both the rural and the urban. Biquette à Montréal is a gathering place that is educational, fun and interactive all at once.

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    Urban beekeeping and pollinator gardening

    Urban beekeeping and pollinator gardening

    From April to November 2015, Miel Montréal offered an urban beekeeping and bee-friendly eco-gardening internship to a group of 15 participants between the ages of 18 and 30. For 12 weeks, this program combined 45 hours of theoretical workshops with 105 hours of practical training in urban beekeeping, biodiversity conservation and bee-friendly gardening. This internship was made possible by the Fond régional d’investissement jeunesse of the Forum jeunesse de l’île de Montréal.

    Based on the idea that the greening of the urban ecosystems and biodiversity conservation are just as important as beekeeping itself, this program enabled participants to acquire basic knowledge and skills in the following fields:

    • Ecological beekeeping in urban settings;
    • Apiarian gardening through the creation of bee and pollinator-friendly habitat;
    • Social awareness for biodiversity conservation and food justice through the organization of awareness-raising, citizen mobilization and participation activities.

    The internship culminated in the completion of the Bee Path, a wildflower garden dedicated to the diversity of local pollinators at la Tohu.

    For several years now, the solidarity co-op Miel Montréal is involved in youth participation and commitment through educational workshops on bees, pollinators and biodiversity preservation and care. Through our new and renewed partnerships, Miel Montréal is committed to greening and embellishing Montreal like never before.

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    375, 000 Trees

    375, 000 Trees

    375,000 Trees is an ambitious program that aims to plant 375,000 new trees in Greater Montreal by 2017. As an extension of the Plan métropolitain d’aménagement et de développement (PMAD) and the Plan d’action canopée de la Ville de Montréal, the goal of the project is to increase the canopy area index of the metropolitan area by 3%.

    The way the program works is simple: Montreal area organizations are invited to support the program financially, and a scientific committee evaluates the sustainability of all projects submitted during the call for proposals. Planting occurs in spring and autumn, and tree identification codes are sent to the residents, businesses and other organizations whose contributions made the plantings possible.

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