An exciting new chapter in urban greening and healthy Canadian landscapes has begun and is centred at Vineland. The new public-private Greening the Landscape Research Consortium to address common urban landscape challenges has launched with an initial cohort of 13 members. Together, consortium participants will set research priorities reflecting industry needs and access training and skills development, innovative data, network connections and emerging knowledge. They will also take part in an urban forestry pilot project.
“One of the key features attractive to members is the opportunity to build a customized case study. One of the challenges in urban forestry is gaps in accessing proper solutions — everyone wants nature-based solutions but how do we do it and what type of information can we rely on?” says Darby McGrath, PhD, Program Leader, Plant Responses and the Environment. “We want to fill those gaps with evidence-based research.”
Projects are now underway and consortium members will have access to case study findings and resources as part of Vineland’s goal to build an information network and a collective capacity for solving common industry challenges. Current consortium partners make up a range of stakeholders from across the industry, such as municipalities, government, conservation authorities, non-governmental organizations, professional associations, suppliers, nurseries, landscape professionals, developers and consultants. A new membership intake will open in spring 2022. “The reason for joining the consortium is different for each member and is related to where they fit in the industry. For some, what is important is being able to test and solve a real problem and create a value proposition in their area,” adds McGrath. “For others, it’s to access information and learn more about what others are doing.”