In April 2016, York University celebrated the official opening of the Lillian Meighen Wright Centre, the landmark building of its EcoCampus in Costa Rica, which will expand and enrich the learning opportunities available to York students.
April 26, 2016 – The Lillian Meighen & Don Wright Foundation’s transformational donation of $750,000 to the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) made it possible to purchase the property and to construct the Lillian Meighen Wright Centre in Costa Rica. The centre is located next to the 400-acre Las Nubes Forest Reserve, which is part of one of the largest rainforest ecosystems in Central America.
The 400-sq.-m. facility overlooks the Peñas Blancas River and serves as the epicentre of the EcoCampus, offering indoor classrooms and laboratories, an outdoor indigenous classroom, an arboretum and botanical gardens. It will operate as a local, national and international hub dedicated to education and research on Neotropical conservation, eco-health, community well-being and sustainable livelihoods of those who live and work in the area.
It also serves as the new home of the Las Nubes Project – a mission under the direction of Professor Felipe Montoya, James and Joanne Love Chair in Neotropical Conservation, to contribute to community environmental well-being through faculty and student research, environmental education and community engagement initiatives.
“Thank you all for being here today for a very special announcement and to celebrate with us some exciting news that will have a tremendous impact on the future of York University, the Faculty of Environmental Studies and the Las Nubes Project,” said FES Dean Noël Sturgeon during the on-site celebration.
Several guests travelled overseas to celebrate the centre’s opening, including York President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri; Sturgeon; Dean Harvey Skinner; Larry Murray and Paul Marcus of The Lillian Meighen & Don Wright Foundation, Montoya; and key donors and supporters Dr. Woody Fisher and Valerie Grant, James and Joanne Love, Adrienne Perry and Don Downer, Anita McBride and Harriet Lewis.