Tuesday, 19 December 2023 13:28

Kemptville Campus wins Sustainability Award in recognition of greening efforts

The Kemptville Campus recently received a 2023 Sustainability Star Award from Sustainable Eastern Ontario, an Ottawa-based organization that fosters partnerships and collaboration on sustainability activities. The award recognizes organizations and businesses throughout Eastern Ontario that show leadership at the community level. Awarded annually since 2017, past award winners are a who’s who of leaders on sustainability issues ranging from water quality, sustainable transportation and nature conservation to food security, energy use and sustainability education Kemptville Campus was nominated by Sustainable North Grenville in sustainability efforts as they renew the lands and buildings of the former Kemptville Agricultural College, creating a thriving multi-use education and community centre. With a mandate to implement environmental sustainability and climate change resilience as a cross-cutting theme on all initiatives, the Campus takes their role as a community leader seriously.

At the awards ceremony in Ottawa on November 24, several of the Campus’ green initiatives were highlighted:

  • Campus partnered with community volunteers to establish a community garden on site. Twenty-six plots were rented to residents and a daycare, offering space and shared infrastructure for sustainable food production. In addition to growing food for their households, gardeners donated food to the Kemptville Salvation Army, Beth Donovan Hospice and other community groups.
  • The community garden is envisioned as an inclusive space. Community events in June and September welcomed the public; campus schools helped to plant garlic and harvest garlic scapes; educational tours were given to local clubs and organizations; and many community members enjoy this beautiful space on their walks through campus.
  • Campus partnered with volunteers to host the popular Kemptville Seedy Sunday in March. This was a full day of gardening presentations, educational workshops, seed and tool swaps, local vendors and more, to support gardeners in preparing for the
    growing season.
  • A new Agri-Food Business course was piloted in 2023 as a partnership between the Campus and the French Catholic School Board, Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE) events, and created their own website with a directory of local food producers.
  • Nearly 200 acres of forest on campus is certified sustainable by the international Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Under a sustainable forest plan managed by a registered forester, campus planted over 100 trees in 2023, with plans for more in 2024.
  • The North Grenville Habitat Gardeners was established through a series of meetings on Campus. Dedicated to learning about and planting native plants in our community, the volunteer group started by creating a native plant garden next to the Campus greenhouse. Pollinators attracted by these plants will benefit the community garden across the street, and allow for education on the importance of pollinators and habitat.
  • Campus is partnering with local artist and naturalist Meredith Luce to host part of her series of nature journaling workshops. Participants will take a guided walk on a campus trail, learning more about our flora, fauna and ecosystems. After the walk, the group sits down to journal their observations, using various art forms including watercolour, sketching, writing and more.

Sustainability efforts were among the many accomplishments celebrated at a year-end lunch on Campus on December 1st, where community members mingled with Campus staff, Board, and tenants. Everyone reflected on the partnerships and projects built between the Campus, the Municipality of North Grenville, and the amazing partners and volunteers who have supported and joined in campus activities.


"The team at Kemptville Campus appreciates the amazing support from our community. We are truly honoured to have our work recognized with the award from Sustainable Eastern Ontario. We intend to continue achieving even greater success in promoting sustainable development and opportunities on Campus," stated Campus Board Chair Brian Mc Kee.


Executive Director Liz Sutherland adds, “We’re only getting started on our path towards sustainability, and this award inspires us to keep going!”

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Kemptville Campus is a place to gather, work, grow, play, and belong – for North Grenville and Eastern Ontario more broadly. Our mission as an education and community centre is built on three pillars: education and learning, health and wellness, and economic development, supported by an overarching theme of climate change resiliency. Find us online at

For media inquiries, please contact:

Marta Zwart
Marketing and Events Coordinator
Kemptville Campus

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