Help create habitat for native birds, bees, butterflies and other native wildlife.

Help nature thrive wherever you are

Get your hands dirty creating native habitat for wildlife through In the Zone. Transform your home or an area of campus, big or small, by planting native plants and reconnecting gardens and green spaces to the natural landscape.

Native plants help reverse biodiversity loss

Gardening comes in many forms and is a popular way for people to connect with nature in urban areas. Traditional gardens have lost their connection with the natural landscape. This isn’t good for native birds, bees and butterflies that co-evolved with native plants. In fact, the imported varieties we normally plant often have little food or habitat value for wildlife.

When you use native plants in local green spaces you are reconnecting those spaces to the natural landscape. And no experience is required! Planting even one native plant will make a difference.

Help the spaces where you live and learn become part of a healthy and resilient future for wildlife and people. Whether you’re living in residence, off-campus, or at home, with In the Zone you can create healthy habitat for wildlife that suits your space.

As part of In The Zone you will be able to:

  • Grow healthy natural habitat for native species
  • Record the impact you make on biodiversity
  • Connect with like-minded individuals and celebrate healthy habitats

Create healthy habitat one step at a time

Contribute to healthy Canadian habitats

Creating healthy habitat with native plants is easy. To get started, download the Ecozones & Easy to Grow Native Plants resource to explore your region’s needs. You can begin with a small container garden where you live, learn, or work, or start a larger project. Every native plant you add will help to increase the health and resilience of your landscape for wildlife and people too.

Plant big or small

How-to steps

1. Find your EcoZone & choose plants

Download the Ecozones & Easy Grow Native Plants guide to find your ecozone and region’s needs. If you are in southern Ontario’s Carolinian zone or in southern Quebec, visit for tools and tips unique to these area.

2. Are you planting small or big, one or many

No matter where you live, learn or work, you can create healthy habitat that suits your needs. Use our Container Garden video to bring your own to life. If you’re interested in creating a larger garden, map out where you would like to start.

3. Get permission to plant

Make sure the others who share your space are on board with your project. Whether that’s your roommates, landlord or your employer, it’s a good idea to share your plans and why it’s important. For projects on campus grounds, contact your campus Sustainability Office or the Grounds & Facilities team to seek permission to start a planting project.

4. Choose plants & set garden goals

Use the Ecozones & Easy Grow Native Plants guide to identify the best plants to grow in your region. Set goals for your garden: for example, which birds, butterflies and bees do you want to help?

5. Record your impact

Observe the changes and record your results on Living Planet @ Campus. Share tips and plants, connect with others who want to create healthy habitat.


Gain great experience, increase your knowledge and skills and enjoy that special feeling that helping nature inspires!
You’ll also be able to check off actions on your Personal Application of Sustainability for your Living Planet Leader certification.

Project planning and implementation

Gain experience in planning and bringing your project to life. No matter the size, your project will literally grow before your eyes; watch for the wildlife that prefer native plants.

Increase your knowledge and skills

Learn about the value of native plants to wildlife and how to create garden habitats that are healthy and more resilient to climate change.

Make connecting to nature a part of campus life

Making your space more nature-friendly is a satisfying experience and provides both physical and mental health benefits. Even if you are new to gardening, dig in and get your hands dirty. Planting even one native plant will make a difference.

Living Planet Leader

Students who lead or join campus or community garden projects can recognize those efforts under the Leadership and Teamwork category of Living Planet Leader.