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University of Regina’s Cypress Hills Field Station Rebuild Project receives $225,000 grant

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: November 15, 2021 5:00 a.m.

University of Regina’s Cypress Hills Field Station
University of Regina’s Cypress Hills Field Station Photo: Anne Brigham

The University of Regina and the G. Murray and Edna Forbes Foundation through the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation are continuing a relationship that has lasted over a decade, with a contribution of $225,000 towards the U of R’s Cypress Hills Field Station Rebuild Project.

The grant will help further the rebuild process of the Field Station, which has, over the course of 50 years of operation, suffered severe deterioration. 

Cypress-Hills-Research-Station_Exterior-Perspective-View-Looking-From-South-East.jpg

Rendering of the new U of R Cypress Hills
Research Station exterior perspective
view looking from South East.
Photo: Stantec

“We’re thankful to continue what has been a very meaningful relationship with the G. Murray and Edna Forbes Foundation,” said Dr. Kathy McNutt, U of R vice-president (research). “The impact this gift will have on our student and faculty’s activities at the Field Station will be significant, and it will ensure that we are able to continue to preserve biodiversity, protect habitat, achieve sustainability, and benefit the people and environment in Southern Saskatchewan.” 

“The South Saskatchewan Community Foundation cherishes the commitments donors, like the G. Murray and Edna Forbes Foundation, have made for decades towards the U of R and its initiatives. Time and time again we’ve been able to support worthy causes like this that enrich the quality of life right across southern Saskatchewan not only for today but for generations to come,” said Donna Ziegler, Executive Director at South Saskatchewan Community Foundation. “A project like this is especially noteworthy because it is not only supporting education, but is also protecting the environment. It is fantastic to witness initiatives that have such a broad and long-lasting impact right where we live.” 

The Field Station sits on 260 hectares of prairie land about 65 kilometres from Maple Creek in Cypress Hills International Park. Throughout its existence, the Field Station has supported internationally-recognized field research, analysis, and data collection that has helped students and researchers better understand provincial habitats, forest fires, water conservation, loss of species, the impact of wildlife on agriculture, and other significant influences on the ecosystem. 

All that work has taken a toll on the Field Station property, which is made up of Atco trailers from the 1970s, and upgrades are needed to continue to provide environmental research, student programming, and community lectures. 

UofR-Cypress-Hills-Research-Station_Axo-Floor-Plan_View-Looking-North-East.jpg
Rendering of the new U of R Cypress
Hills Research Station Floor Plan view
looking North-East. Photo: Stantec

As outlined in its Strategic Plan, the University of Regina is committed to environmental and economic responsibilities in all of its projects and initiatives as well as creating green and sustainable solutions that will reduce its ecological footprint by 25% in 2025. The research that students and faculty conduct as a result of the Field Station directly supports the University’s mission of environmental and climate action. 

In 2020, the University hired a consultant to explore the feasibility of the Field Station and the resulting recommendation was to remove the Atco trailers and rebuild the Station onsite. Receiving the grant from the G. Murray and Edna Forbes Foundation is critical in moving the project one step closer to completion. 

Ziegler sent a message of appreciation to the U of R, saying, “All of us at South Saskatchewan Community Foundation wish U of R the best in moving this initiative forward as well as other initiatives to come. Thank you for your commitment to students, to the environment, and for helping our province flourish.” 

The G. Murray and Edna Forbes Foundation support University of Regina students in many areas, including through the creation of the Forbes Foundation Award in Investigative Journalism and the Forbes Foundation Scholarship in Music Performance.