Community Stewardship and Biodiversity Enhancement of Public Greenspaces

From Trail & Landscape, Vol 57, issue 2, April-June 2023:

Daniel Buckles (1,2), Catherine Shearer (1), Kris Phillips (1), Adrian Bradley (1), Chieu-Anh Ta (3), Braydon Hall (3) and John Thor Arnason (1,3)*

(1) Champlain Park Environment Committee, Kitchissippi, Ottawa ON

(2) Sociology and Anthropology Department, Carleton University, Ottawa ON

(3) Biology Department, University of Ottawa, Ottawa ON

Corresponding authors:,


Plant biodiversity in urban woodlands near the Ottawa River was assessed and found to have low native biodiversity. Community volunteers responded by planting native trees using various techniques (Hügelkultur mounds, Miyawaki or “Tiny Forest” plantations, terracing) and establishing several native pollinator gardens. Biodiversity enhancement included both native Great Lakes and St. Lawrence forest species and Carolinian species, with attention to ethnobotanical and forest food species as well as herbaceous plants supporting native pollinators. The experience suggests that community stewardship of public greenspaces offers an efficient and effective means to achieve meaningful conservation and public education outcomes.

Keywords: Native plants, Carolinian species, biodiversity enhancement, Hügelkultur mounds, medicinal plants, food forest, pollinator garden.