When the village of Eden Mills wanted to go carbon neutral, the community members approached environmental scientists at the nearby University of Guelph for help.
Initiated by resident and architect Charles Simon, the residents believed that due to their population size (about 350 people) and location (surrounded by wooded areas), this seemingly ambitious goal could be achieved. But they wanted the expertise and research available at the university to provide an independent academic perspective that would advise and monitor the project.
Every year, researchers and more than 70 fourth-year University of Guelph students partner with surrounding communities. Through an environmental sciences course, they work with community members to help address challenges they’re facing or achieve particular goals set by the communities – as is the case with Eden Mills. A new group helps solve a different piece of the Eden Mills carbon neutral puzzle each school year.
The fourth-year class provides students with real-world, work-integrated learning opportunities to apply their knowledge, while giving communities access to talent and research support from the university.
Read more about this partnership between students at the University of Guelph and their communities.