Native Manitoban flowers in a summer garden on campus.

Safety, sustainability and accessibility

Designed to prioritize Indigenous Planning and Design Principles and community consultation, the site will be open to the UM community and the public and will connect to walking and cycling paths in the area.

The Garden for Wellbeing will provide opportunities for self-reflection, contemplation and connecting with the land, in a safe, accessible and sustainable space.

Community consultation

A cornerstone of the project is community consultation and involvement. UM is working with landscape architects from ft3 and Indigenous environmental consultants Narratives on the design of the garden – a landscape that will be a pathway for contemplation and wellbeing. An initial stakeholder consultation determined that an image of a bison should inform the design concept of the space. Two design proposals have been created and were shared in a community consultation for feedback on March 18 and 19.

Location and renderings

Thank you to those who provided feedback at the in-person community consultations and via the online feedback form.

View concepts and renderings

Project priorities

The concepts of wellbeing and Reconciliation are integrated into the project right from the start and will be realized through all aspects of the design, build and maintenance phases.

The Garden for Wellbeing: Building Community Pathways Within UM project prioritizes:

  • Indigenous leadership in project decisions,
  • learning from the land, each other and self-reflection,
  • working with the campus community from discovery and design to building, maintenance and sustainable development.


The Garden for Wellbeing project is the realization of a 2019 UM Success Through Wellness Grant. The initiative is led by the Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, Office of Sustainability, Strategic Communications, and Architectural & Engineering Services in close collaboration with the Indigenous Stewardship Committee.  Other stakeholders include

  • the Campus Planning Office,
  • Disability Studies,
  • Student Accessibility Services,
  • UMSU,
  • UMGSA,
  • Indigenous Design and Planning Student Association,
  • Faculty of Architecture,
  • Department of Landscape Architecture,
  • Indigenous Student Centre and
  • Spiritual Care.

UM community input

The Garden for Wellbeing is intended to serve the entire community. Throughout the process many stakeholders have contributed to the vision of the space, including the Project Advisory Committee and Indigenous Stewardship Committee. Other groups have been and will be engaged as the project progresses.

Additionally, the Garden for Wellbeing must align with the Visionary (re)Generation Master Plan, the UM Indigenous Planning and Design Principles, City of Winnipeg Accessibility Guidelines and the Accessibility for Manitobans Act.


Phase 1 Design and community consultation: May 2023 - May 2024

Phase 2 Build: 2025-2026

Project team

Indigenous Stewardship Committee

Vanessa Lillie, Director, Cultural Integration, Office of the Vice-President Indigenous
Nicki Ferland, Coordinator, Community Engaged Learning, Indigenous
Shirley Delorme Russell, Indigenous Librarian Intern, University of Manitoba Libraries
Carl Stone, Elder in Residence, Indigenous Student Centre


Project Team

Amy De Jaeger, Lead – Strategic Planning and Teaching Excellence, Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning
Rebecca Brooks, Team Lead Programs, Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning
Anatoliy Furda, Project Manager, Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning
Andrea Bilash, Director, Strategic Communications
Heather Stark, Sustainability Projects Coordinator, Office of Sustainability
Vanessa Jukes Strutt, Project Manager, Architectural & Engineering Services
Kevin Handkamer, Campus Planner, Campus Planning Office
Vanessa Vermeulen, Planning Project Coordinator, Campus Planning Office

Contact us

Office of Sustainability
152 Physical Plant Building 
89 Freedman Crescent 
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus) 
Winnipeg MB R3T 2N2