by Iffany Z. and Selena M., Global Development Studies students
During the first semester of Global Development Studies, we were exposed to many of our world’s most pressing challenges. We spent time learning about each in an in-depth way so that, by second semester, we were equipped with the knowledge to design a service project to bring change to our campus and in our community.
For our semester project, we decided to address SDG #3 (Good Health and Wellbeing) and #15 (Life on Land). As students living in the city, we spend a lot of time inside looking at our screens, and this can be detrimental to our mental and emotional wellbeing. This also narrows our senses and reduces our stimulus. Think about it: students and teachers alike spend over 7 hours a day in front of their screens doing homework, following lectures. Many students mentioned this during our empathy interviews: “We are a very technology-based school,” one person stated.
Being outside increases our ability to focus yet, ironically, we spend most of our time inside focusing on our screens. The Green Space Project was our idea to alleviate this problem. We wanted to create an outdoor space for students to take a break and escape from stress. In addition, we wanted this outdoor space to allow students to build a connection to the environment so we might understand, and care about, the negative effects of climate change and our role in contributing to the issue.
While Concordia has access to a great amount of land, we only have a few green spaces. In an empathy interview with grade 12 student Hannah S., she conveyed that her love for nature and life below water came from experiencing these ecosystems.
In another interview, grade 12 student Theo commented on the lack of green space on campus: “There’s a garden... I think.”. He also mentioned that we used to have more green spaces, and “it was so beautiful, but they knocked everything down.”.
We wanted to tackle this issue and build something beautiful.
So, for the past few months, we’ve been working with Mrs. Baermann, Mr. Baermann, Ms. Suki, Ms. Karen, Mrs. Lavender, and a landscaping company and outdoor furniture company. With the support of this amazing team, we have made significant progress. We hope to see the space underneath the bridge transform into a beautiful green space near the start of summer!
Listen to our podcast to hear about how we got to where we are today.
This project was a semester two service learning/design thinking experience designed by Iffany and Selena for their Applied Learning Global Development Studies class at Concordia.
Iffany and Selena looked at potential green space options with school leaders early in semester 2.