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Extending a Green Hand...

St. Mary's University, Nova Scotia, Canada

Saint Mary's University in Canada Extends a Green Hand Across the World (Without Ignoring Their Own Backyard)

By: Andrew Fenster, 2009 Education Trainee

As part of my education-related work this summer at Green Map System in New York, I have been reviewing various approaches worldwide. From my perspective: St. Mary's 'Green Map' Project epitomizes Green Map's education mission to empower community members worldwide on how they can get involved in sustainable community development while sharing resources/advice with other communities.

St. Mary's University’s Green Map Project, funded by the Canadian International Development Agency, is dedicated to regional, national, and international education and outreach to strengthen people’s understanding of sustainability at home and abroad through local and global Green Map projects.

The key message behind Saint Mary’s University’s ‘Green Map Project’ is that everyone can participate in finding solutions to global issues. The University has a wealth of knowledge and resources that are shared with the local community and beyond in order to help others understand and take action on global sustainability. For example, students have created local Green Maps of the St. Mary’s University campus, Kenteville, Wolfeville, Kings County, and more.

Furthermore, university students, in collaboration with youth from nations across the world, have joined forces in promoting community sustainability abroad. The Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (Green Rockers) team consisted of students from Mongolia University of Science and Technology (MUST), who were inspired after 3 of their faculty members traveled to St. Mary’s University and learned about Green Mapmaking, and then held a Mapmaking workshop upon their return. The Mongolian students created the Green Map on their own, with some financial assistance from St. Mary's. The finished Green Map product highlights how to live a “greener” lifestyle for Mongolians in the area and will hopefully help to improve the quality of life for people in the region.

Additionally, St. Mary’s students have collaborated with students in Gambia at St. Therese’s Junior Secondary with about 30 students between the ages of 10 – 15 years old. In addition to the Green Mapping workshop with St. Therese’s, the team also conducted a Green Mapping workshop with the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) Youth Fan Club. The participants were encouraged to highlight places of environmental importance and also places that posed environmental challenges, in order to open up the public/political eye to environmental degradation.

St. Mary’s ‘International Development’ students have incorporated the concept of Green Community Mapping into their curriculum and use Green Map fieldwork in other countries as a component of their educational program. Clearly, St. Mary’s students and professors understand how although sustainable community development begins at home, we truly are one global community and it is through inter-community relationships that a sustainable world can begin to become a firmer reality.

Please see St. Mary's University 'Green Map Project'
for more information on St. Mary’s growing involvement in the global Green Mapmaking Movement and how your School, University, and/or community can follow in their footsteps. Download their newsletter, linked below in PDF format too.

SMU_Citizen_Science_News9-09.pdf642.85 KB