Find out about some of the environmental projects that members of our community can undertake in 2023.

Sand Dunes

Study of the behaviours of dune dwelling tiger beetles in Pinhey Sand Dunes

Community Partner: Biodiversity Conservancy International (BCI) - Nepean, Ontario

Biodiversity Conservancy International (BCI) is an organization dedicated to protecting biodiversity. It’s looking for volunteers who are passionate about environmental science for its Pinhey Sand Dunes restoration project. The project is meant to expand the gene pool of tiger beetles, which are endangered in the region. Participants will serve as project managers. They will assemble a team and develop and implement an action plan to achieve the project’s objectives. Working under the direction of BCI scientists, students will be able to improve their skills in many areas, including community service, teamwork, nature conservation, communication, event planning and public outreach.

This project is ideal for students in biology or environmental science.

Project dates: Spring and summer 2023
Community Engagement Navigator (via uoZone) volunteer placement number: 6

Creddo forest

Nature Preservation in Boucher Forest Park

Community Partner: Conseil régional de l’environnement et du développement durable de l’Outaouais

The Conseil régional de l’environnement et du développement durable de l’Outaouais (CREDDO) promotes collaboration and the pooling of expertise on the sustainable economy, the protection of natural environments and regional dialogue between civil society organizations. It seeks volunteers for a campaign to remove glossy buckthorn and European buckthorn from Boucher forest in Gatineau. This campaign is a crucial to protecting and restoring this urban forest’s rich ecosystem.

Under the supervision of the CREDDO team, you’ll work to remove invasive plant species, plant indigenous trees, collect and eliminate organic waste and install guards.

Project dates: Summer to fall 2023

Community Engagement Navigator (via uoZone) volunteer placement number: 179


Implementing DDEO collaborative action plan

Community Partner: Développement durable de l’Est de l’Ontario

Développement durable de l’Est de l’Ontario (DDEO) and the Réseau francophone des organisations environnementales de la capitale nationale (RFOECN) have joined with the University of Ottawa to implement a collaborative action plan for members of the RFOECN network of National Capital Region environmental organizations. The goal is to raise awareness and interest in the Francophone community on issues of environmental protection and socioeconomic development in neighbourhoods by creating local discussion forums and reserving them a place on the cross-neighbourhood roundtable on the environment. You’ll be responsible for performing document searches, identifying projects to support and preparing public awareness and training material for neighbourhood committees.  

Project dates: Spring and Summer 2023

Community Engagement Navigator (via uoZone) volunteer placement number: 30

Food waste

Develop a public awareness campaign about food waste

Community partner: Foodsharing Ottawa

This collaboration between Foodsharing Ottawa (FSO) and University of Ottawa aims to develop a public awareness campaign about food waste and how to reduce it.

As a volunteer, you’ll create an effective communication campaign that includes infographics and social media posts. You’ll also be able to raise awareness about food waste at community events, for example, by operating a booth at a farmer’s market or participating in a food donor recruitment event. This is a great opportunity for volunteers to develop skills in communication, marketing pitches, graphics design and awareness raising as they help protect the environment and reduce food waste.

Project dates: Summer and spring 2023

Community Engagement Navigator (via uoZone) volunteer placement number: 32

Plants and Gardening Tools

Tree Fest Ottawa

Community partner: Tree Fest Ottawa

Tree Fest Ottawa is a community organization that creates free events to raise environmental awareness and promote nature in urban areas. It invites you to participate in two exciting projects this spring and summer.

The first project aims to raise awareness about the importance of green spaces and trees in the city. You can help this project as a team leader coordinating other volunteers. Activities include garden visits, removing invasive species, children’s programming and tree planting.

In the second project, you’ll organize and lead free public activities for children in Hampton Park and/or in Carlington Woods, participate in the removal of invasive species, plant trees and plants, and create short Instagram and Facebook videos about the parks and the community’s environmental protection efforts.

Project dates: Spring to summer 2022

Community Engagement Navigator (via uoZone) volunteer placement number: 40/39


Building Participatory Ecology with an Alternative Pavilion

Community partners: Coopérative d’habitation l’Alternative

L’Alternative, a housing co-operative for families, is running the Pavillon l’Alternative project. Its goal is to build a community space for families in the co-op and those who live nearby.

This pavilion will be a place to learn about and promote social innovation in urban ecology, community gardens and sustainable mobility. It will be a pleasant and accessible space for co-op residents and their neighbours to collaborate, learn and innovate in urban ecology. It will also foster social cohesion in this community composed of some fifteen different cultural groups. You’ll be responsible for research and planning, and will attend training sessions on co-operative ecology.

Project dates: Summer and fall 2023 

Community Engagement Navigator (via uoZone) volunteer placement number: 53

Food waste

The Box Of Life

Community partner: The Box Of Life

The Box Of Life fights food waste by using worms to turn food scraps into healthy, living soil. The project involves launching a volunteer-run community composting program in Ottawa’s community gardens. Two placements are available:

You’ll be responsible for creating a community composting guide and a volunteer platform to help launch a project across potentially hundreds of community gardens and green spaces city-wide.


As a digital media coordinator, you’ll play a key role in sharing the community composting pilot project’s story through videos, social media posts, blog posts and a comprehensive guide on community composting in Ottawa.

Project dates: Summer and fall 2023 

Community Engagement Navigator (via uoZone) volunteer placement number: 82 / 83


Centre de valorisation des aliments

Community partner: Centre de valorisation des aliments

The Centre de valorisation des aliments coordinates, guides and supports safety and food self-sufficiency initiatives while developing a sustainable regional food system. It’s looking for motivated, committed volunteers to conduct comparative studies, analyze different models’ strengths and weaknesses and make recommendations. You’ll get to develop key skills in leadership, mobilizing community members, conducting research and analyzing results. You’ll also understand the importance of leveraging different kinds of knowledge and developing a range of solutions to fight hunger and poverty, and learn about gardening, soil preparation, planting and weeding, garden care and harvesting.

Project dates: Summer 2023 

Community Engagement Navigator (via uoZone) volunteer placement number: 84 / 104


Social Harvest Ottawa

Community partner: Social Harvest Ottawa

Social Harvest Ottawa is an urban farm and educational social enterprise committed to growing healthy and nutritious food, while strengthening community connections. It sees urban agriculture as a powerful tool for improving food safety and learning food-related skills.

As a volunteer, you’ll get to share in this crucial mission at every step of the process, from planting to organizing and setting up the space. You’ll learn about gardening, agriculture and ecology, while helping an active social enterprise invested in improving residents’ lives in Ward 13 and beyond. You’ll be making a tangible contribution to your community and learning skills like teamwork and attention to detail, while getting hands-on experience.

Project dates: Summer 2023 

Community Engagement Navigator (via uoZone) volunteer placement number: 97


Algonquin to Adirondacks Collaborative

Community partner: Algonquin to Adirondacks Collaborative

The Algonquin to Adirondacks Collaborative is a non-profit that works to protect and enhance the unique ecological features and functions of the A2A region. Nature and environment lovers can help research amenities along the A2A trail, discover the region’s unique biodiversity and use this information to create an A2A trail guide. They will also create marketing content, including social media posts, articles and videos, to promote the A2A trail guide. You’ll get to develop your research, writing, app creation and marketing skills.

App or web platform creation experience is an asset.

Project dates: Summer 2023 

Community Engagement Navigator (via uoZone) volunteer placement number: 109


Ecology Ottawa

Ecology Ottawa is a non-profit community organization whose volunteers are striving to make Ottawa the green capital of Canada. It believes citizens should live in sustainable communities that run on renewable energy and protect green spaces. It also provides residents with information and tools to better understand environmental issues and encourage environmental leadership at City Hall. Several projects are available this year:

Are you passionate about creating online content, promoting environmental causes on social media or organizing community events? Join Ecology Ottawa! You’ll play a key role in promoting pollinator gardens by developing eye-catching content on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. You’ll be in charge of creating high-impact graphics and engaging videos. You’ll develop a web page for the biodiversity program and/or create an online platform to share web resources, blog posts and inspiring photos. You’ll also be responsible for planning and coordinating several public events to attract community members to community gardens.

If you’re passionate about recruiting and supervising volunteers, you’re in the right place! You’ll be in charge of mobilizing volunteers for a door-to-door campaign in neighbourhoods that are near pollinator gardens. You’ll inform community members about Ecology Ottawa’s program and encourage them to participate. You’ll also play a key role by researching legislative avenues for encouraging individual and community environmental action. You’ll have to build strong ties with other community groups and stakeholders in order to put together a high-impact campaign.

Project dates: Summer 2023 

Community Engagement Navigator (via uoZone) volunteer placement number: 86/87/88/89/90/136