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ACPQ grants its 2017 Innovation Award to Marianopolis College

Montreal, June 7, 2017 - The Association of Private Colleges of Quebec (ACPQ) is proud to present this year’s Innovation Award to Marianopolis College for its Pollinator Project and Green Classroom. Under the guidance of Biology Professor Michèle Saumier, this innovative project brought together the Marianopolis community in concrete terms around environmental issues.

Each year, the ACPQ’s Innovation Award celebrates the innovative achievements of a person or group of people in an institution or the college network who have made a positive impact on private education’s reputation, quality of education, academic success, recruitment and regional economy.

The ACPQ jury noted the project’s collaborative nature, focus on partnerships and support of sustainable development. Professor Saumier and her students created a bee garden, enriched the College’s butterfly garden and built a motel for insects, thus raising the Marianopolis community’s awareness of the important role that pollination plays in maintaining the balance of ecosystems. It was important for Professor Saumier to use a practical pedagogical approach to her students’ acquisition of skills. For example, students carried out extensive research to select plants that could attract bees, worked as a team and recruited volunteers to ensure the maintenance of the gardens.

The benefits of the project were greater than expected. The entire Marianopolis community can now study, learn and relax in a peaceful green space. Marianopolis students pursuing an Environmental Studies Certificate will gain hands-on experience by helping to sustain the gardens next year.

As part of the award, Marianopolis received a sculpture by Quebec artist Denis Gagnon, entitled The Earth’s gold. The inspiration of this piece is the importance of pollination in sustaining ecosystems. The work of bees is an essential part of the very existence of life on earth and pollen is a valuable substance providing the necessary balance for our presence in the great chain of life. To illustrate this simple and complex point, the artist inserted spaces covered in gold leaves where pollen is naturally found on flowers and insects. The glass engraving offers a gripping and luminous vision.

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