Commuter Challenge Highlights for 2018

Commuter Challenge was a great success this year! Our workplace participation increased by 1320%!



Commuter Challenge Spotlight

Students Help Design New Rain Garden for Braun Building

The Office of Sustainability is celebrating a great way to end the week!

Today was our last Rain Garden Design Workshop in a three-part series. Students from undergraduate, to master's, to PhD level learned about Stormwater Management 101 and rain garden design, then put these skills to use by designing the rain garden that will be built outside of the Braun Building this summer!

Way to go team!

The workshop was facilitated by Julie Prinselaar from EcoSuperior, as part of funding from the Great Lakes Guardian Fund. This Rain Garden project is being facilitated by Dr. Lindsay Galway from Health and Behavioural Sciences, as well as our Sustainability Coordinator Ledah McKellar, and our Rain Garden Student Coordinator and M.Ed candidate Mallory Vanier.


Thank you to Rollin' Thunder for donating spring bike tune-ups for early-bird Commuter Challenge registrants!


Thank you so much to Rollin' Thunder for donating free spring bike tune-ups to encourage Lakehead University Thunder Bay employees to participate in Commuter Challenge week. Evan did a great job sprucing up the bikes of early bird registrants. Thank you also to EcoSuperior and Active Transportation Thunder Bay for organizing great prizes for Commuter Challenge week this year.

Be a RIDE GUIDE for Commuter Challenge week

For Commuter Challenge week, June 3-9, share your route (walk, bike, etc) with others, so they can join you!

Help inspire your coworkers.

To register as a ride guide email:

To register for Commuter Challenge:

Interested in joining a ride guide? Join Lindsay and cycle to work from Hillcrest Park.

Start location: Hillcrest park
Days available (Between June 3-8): June 4th, 6th, 8th
Start time: 8:45 am
Approx. travel time: 15 min
Lakehead University
Ride Guide: Lindsay


Students: Design a Rain Garden on Campus

Lake Superior contains 10% of the world’s freshest surface water. Are you interested in protecting water quality for ecological and human health in the amazing Lake Superior watershed?

We are looking for students interested in participating in a Rain Garden Student Group that will assist in designing and installing a rain garden on the Thunder Bay campus.

The purpose of the project is to reduce stormwater runoff and enhance water quality in the Lake Superior watershed while also raising awareness about the importance of rain gardens as tools for improving stormwater management. This will be achieved by creating a rain garden on campus, and installing interpretive signage, and a precipitation gauge to monitor data and engage university students.

Your participation will involve attending three interactive workshops on Friday, June 1, June 8, and June 15, 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm, on the Thunder Bay campus. During the workshops you will learn about urban stormwater management, how rain gardens function, and how to design rain gardens. You will then apply this knowledge to design a 25 m2 rain garden near the Braun Building.

Lunch will be provided at all workshops. Participation in this project will be credited on your Co-Curricular Record. You will also receive a certificate of completion for your records.

If you are interested in participating in the Rain Garden Student Group, please email an application with responses to the following questions (max 100 words each):

1. How can this experience be useful to you?

2. Why do you want to be involved?

Applications are open to all demographics and all Lakehead students.

Interested applicants should email Ledah McKellar, Sustainability Coordinator, by April 27, 2018.

Congratulations to Mallory Vanier and Charlotte McEwen for winning the Lakehead Leadership Award, and Lakehead Luminary Award

The Office of Sustainability would like to congratulate two students who received awards from the Student Success Centre's "Lakehead Leader Recognition Program" for their outstanding contributions on- and off-campus. Congratulations to MEd Candidate Mallory Vanier, pictured right, who won the Lakehead Leader Award for her demonstrated exemplary achievement in the category of "sustainability."
Congratulations are also in order for MHSc Specialization Epidemiology Candidate Charlotte McEwen, left, who won the Lakehead Luminary Award due to her demonstrated exceptional leadership in more than one of the award category areas, one of which included "sustainability." Charlotte is also the Sustainability Initiative Coordinator for the LUSU Sustainability Initiative. 
Both Mallory and Charlotte received this reward for their deep understanding and passion for issues surrounding sustainability, their application of sustainable living concepts to their own lives, and their action to educate others on the implementation of sustainability on personal and community scales. 
Congrats to both of you!
Our University Sustainability Coordinator is pictured in the middle. Photo credit: Dee Shin.

Feedback Invited on the Draft Sustainability Action Plan

Over the past year and a half, the Lakehead University Sustainability Stewardship Council (LUSSC), and its three Working Groups have developed a 5 year Sustainability Action Plan for the University. This plan has three main sections: Academics, Operations, and Engagement.

In the Month of March, the Office of Sustainability, along with members of LUSSC, will conduct a number of consultations in Thunder Bay and Orillia. Feedback on the Plan from students, faculty, and staff are invited.

Draft Sustainability Action Plan 2018-2023

Feedback can be made online via the following form, or in person.

Call for Proposals - Sustainable Communities Workshop - Deadline: Thursday, Feb. 1

The Research Centre for Sustainable Communities (RCSC) invites submissions to the Sustainable Communities Workshops to be held Saturday, March 24 at Lakehead Orillia.

The workshops are for the Lakehead University community from both campuses, including all faculty and graduate students. The RCSC focuses on three core areas: Environmental Sustainability, Political Economy and Social Justice.

Environmental sustainability seeks to sustain global life-support systems by securing sufficient quality of natural resources, ecosystems and species diversity in all aspects of the natural and the human or built environment.

Political economy refers to examining how political and economic forces taken together affect the development of government legislation and policy.

Social justice refers to the belief that communities should be organized to allow for and promote equality, fairness, dignity and solidarity among community members such that all members of the community experience a just and fair society, experiencing equality not just in laws or on paper but also in social outcomes.

Sample topics include:

Social Justice and the Media
Anti-capitalist and anti-austerity movements
Social justice movements against fascism and racism e.g. Black Lives Matter
Decolonization movements
Gender, feminist, queer, trans and non-binary theories and movements
Traditional Knowledge and Community Sustainability
Political economy of image and text based media
Politics of Sustainability and Planning
Community Sustainability
Sustainable Cities
Sustainable Urban Development
Environmental Taxes and Economic Instruments Towards Sustainability
Ecological Footprint and/or Sustainability Measures
Biological Indicators and Water Quality
Climate Change and Sustainability
Forestry, Ecology and Sustainability
Energy and Green Space
Environmental Health
Local Environmental Knowledge and Community Sustainability
Urban Communities, Sustainable Communities and Higher Education
Submissions: Abstracts of 250 words should be submitted to Dr Nanda Kanavillil by February 1, 2018. Please write ‘Workshop proposal’ in the subject line of your email submission. All abstracts must be submitted in Word doc or docx format as an e-mail attachment, in the following format: title, author list, 250-word Abstract, up to four keywords, and finally a 75-word author bio(s).

Dates and deadlines: Abstracts must be received by Thursday, Feb. 1. Accepted participants will be notified by Thursday, Feb. 15.

Registration and Admission: Admission to the Workshops is FREE but Registration for both participants and attendees is requested so that we may finalize our program and plan for refreshments. Lunch and coffee breaks will be provided.

Date:Saturday, March 24, 9 am - 5 pm

Venue: Lakehead University Orillia, 500 University Avenue, Orillia ON L3V 0B9.

Organizing Committee: Nanda Kanavallil, Rosario Turvey, Sandra Jeppesen, and Serajul Islam.

Sustainability Newsletter: January 2018