McMaster Teaching & Community Garden
In 2012, students from the Integrated Science Program (iSci) collaborated with Facility Services and the McMaster Students Union to open a vegetable garden on the North Side of the General Science Building.
That summer, and every summer since, the McMaster Teaching & Community Garden promotes local food production and provides teaching and learning opportunities for the McMaster community. In the summer of 2020, students were not permitted on campus due to pandemic restrictions and Facility Services team members continued with planting and upkeep.
As the buds burst marking the start of the tenth growing season for the community garden, Facility Services began exploring new partnerships with student groups to plant vegetables and reinvigorate the garden for the start of another decade of learning and growing on campus.
The McMaster Teaching & Community Garden is a University sustainability initiative with the objective of facilitating local food production while providing teaching and learning opportunities and engaging the McMaster and greater Hamilton community. The MTCG is the product of collaboration between McMaster’s Integrated Science (iSci) Program and the Office of Sustainability. The ongoing success of the MTCG is a result of the outstanding contributions from countless students, faculty, staff, and members of the broader community who have supported its growth and development.
McMaster’s outstanding grounds, situated adjacent to Cootes Paradise Wetlands and the Royal Botanical Gardens in the Niagara Escarpment, is a key factor in attracting students, staff, and visitors to campus.
Facilities Services’ Grounds Department is responsible for providing quality grounds management of approximately 300 acres of campus including landscape design, turf maintenance, floral displays, forestry, special event set-up, litter control, and winter control operations. Full-time staff, augmented by student gardeners and contracted services perform both ongoing landscape maintenance activities as well as landscape construction projects. Grounds staff is proud to be honoured with the 2006 President’s Award of Excellence for outstanding service to the University. Click here to view Grounds service level standards.
Sustainability is a focus of management of the campus, with stewardship of natural lands, forest, watershed and the urban landscape of primary concern. A haven of diverse ecosystems and wildlife, McMaster’s abundant natural lands provide a unique university setting, and opportunity for study.
Public safety is also a primary concern, with attention paid to creating year-round safe, accessible roadways, paths and open spaces for the campus community. The Campus Master Plan emphasizes the creation of areas of “compelling spaces”, where people work, play, study and relax. McMaster campus showcases a dynamic blend of vibrant, functional public spaces with many intimate, creative outdoor spaces for people to connect.
Our grounds are renowned for their excellence in horticultural displays, which is a favourite attribute mentioned by summer conference visitors. McMaster is truly a year round campus jewel.
Native Plants and Trees
McMaster’s Grounds and Landscaping team has partnered with students and Nature at McMaster community members to plant more trees, shrubs and plants that are native to our campus environment. These native plants are also often hearty, drought resistant varietals.
For example, in 2020 a student cohort of Academic Sustainability Students partnered with Facility Services to plant 100-plus native trees and shrubs close to bee homes on campus. These native plants include varietals like Tulip Tree, Pasture Rose, Staghorn Sumac and Ninebark are both native to our campus environment and can continue to thrive in drought conditions.