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Saving Laurentian University's green space

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A large group of nature lovers descend on the green space at Laurentian University on Saturday to hear from ecologists about the wildlife that exists in Greater Sudbury.

Organized by the Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury, many in the city still remain worried about the property's future.

A map of the 200 hectare piece of land located between lakes Ramsey, Nepahwin, Laurentian and Bennet referred to as Laurentian University's green space. (Photo from video)"People love this space, it's so important to them," said the coalition's Naomi Grant.

"It's so important to the animals that live here and it's so important to the water that we rely on."

The key message from the group, 'a winter forest may look still but there are always signs of life.'

The ‘green space' as many locals call it, is over 200 hectares located between lakes Ramsey, Nepahwin, Laurentian and Bennet. It's been a source of recreation for many Sudburians.

Some though wonder, if the school will sell it off as it looks to resolve some of its debts.

"For the university, this is what makes the campus unique, it's such an attraction for the students for the Northern lifestyle," said Grant.

"It's very important because it's right next to a conversation area and the conversation area at Lake Laurentian, not only is a great recreation area but that water is very important for the drinking water source of Sudbury," said retired botanist and former Laurentian University professor, Peter Beckett.

Beckett, along with retired biologist and staff scientist at Science North Franco Mariotti, led separate groups through the hills and up to the beaver pond, while educating people about nature on the way.

"Part of the reason people come to Laurentian in the past has been that it's got five lakes, it's got all this open space," said Beckett.

"Today's hike is to point out what some of those secretive animals are that actually thrive above and beneath the snow, so we're hoping to… I don't think we'll actually see them but we'll see evidence of them and discover the world with the participants," said Mariotti.

The university is under new leadership and city hall is reportedly watching the situation very closely. The mayor has said that he is aware that the green space is important to a lot of people.

University officials, as of Friday, said they had no updates on the property as of yet.

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