Cross-Hub Projects

LSLLN Cross-Hub Projects (2022-2023)

Each of the seven LSLLN cross-hub projects below were designed by various LSLLN members across the watershed.


Learn more by clicking on a project title below

Folk School Knowledge Exchange

Eight people indoors smiling at camera
One person providing tour of indoor space with large ceilings

Photo Credit: Shannon Bateman

The Folk School Knowledge Exchange was a research initiative facilitated by Antiquary Folk School (AFS), hosted at Duluth Folk School (DFS) in Duluth, Minnesota and additionally attended by Ely Folk School (EFS) in April 2023. This project supported research, collaboration, and relationship-building between folk schools across the Lake Superior watershed region to share information and knowledge.


This Folk School Knowledge Exchange was the first step toward establishing a network of folk schooling peers within the Lake Superior watershed. With folk schooling in its infancy in Canada, this project allowed AFS to build relationships, exchange knowledge, and develop tools which will contribute to advancing the folk school movement and adult education in Canada.

Project Leads: Devon Lee and Shannon Bateman (Lakehead University and Antiquary Folk School)

“Water is Life”: Creative Action to Heal Bodies of Water

‘Creative action’ offers diverse methods of expression to advocate for water protection, such as with performances, poetry and murals. We are all bodies made up of water, as are the bodies of all lakes, animals and plants; water therefore acts as a connector between ourselves and others, as we all require water to subsist. The participants in this study discussed their activities as furthering the need to protect all bodies of water, while also addressing social injustices connected to water issues. By interviewing eight participants around Lake Superior who were connected to the LSLLN, this project, which used elements from community-based research, centres the voices of the creative actors around Lake Superior to share a role for creative action in the water protection movement.


Project Lead: Gabrielle Pulver (Environmental Studies, Queens University)

Mural with black background showing yellow hands holding a spider, lots of florals and insects, and a girl with long black hair walking
Bus with colorful mural of fish and dragonflies

Solidarity Collective Mural,

Photo Credit: Shelby Gagnon

Mamawe Bus,

Photo Credit: Shelby Gagnon

Wholesale Connections: Building producer-institution partnerships to strengthen northern food systems

On Thursday, April 6, the Rural Agri-Innovation Network of Algoma (RAIN) and Thunder Bay and Area Food Strategy (TBAFS) hosted a webinar discussing strategies for building wholesale relationships with retailers and institutions from the perspective of Northern Ontario farmers. Three presenters, each operating different farm businesses, shared insights about their experiences establishing wholesale and retail avenues in wholesale markets.  The goal of the webinar was to bring together stakeholders of the Northern Ontario agri-food landscape so that other producers and food business owners could learn directly from those with experience in strengthening their businesses by establishing retail and institutional partnerships. 


Project Leads: Lauren Moran & Dave Thompson (RAIN) and Karen Kerk (TBAFS)

Lake Superior Student Sharing Conference

The Lake Superior Student Sharing Conference brought together 75 students, staff, and faculty from the University of Minnesota Duluth Department of Environmental and Outdoor Education (EOE) and Lakehead University’s (LU) School of Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism (ORPT) for an in-person weekend-long conference hosted at LU in Thunder Bay, Ontario in March 2023. The goals of the conference were 1) to conduct collaborative research to understand the challenges and barriers facing outdoor, experiential university programs, and 2) to bring students from our experiential programs together in a cross-border conference.


Project Lead: Leigh Potvin (Outdoor Recreation, Parks, and Tourism, Lakehead University)

22 people on a snowy hike overlooking a mesa (Nor'wester) outside Thunder Bay

Photo Credit: Joe Hulet

Justice Stories: Community Voice & Visioning Workshops

The Justice Stories workshops were hosted in Thunder Bay, Ontario, run attuned to solar and lunar eclipses in the fall of 2022, and asked participants to engage in conversation on the importance of justice in sustainability-related work. On the solar eclipse of Oct 25 at Marina Park Spirit Gardens, Ecological Justice was explored with the question “What message do you hold for our ecological ancestors?”. In the middle of eclipses on Nov. 1 at West Thunder Community Centre, Social Justice was addressed with the question “What message do you carry for the citizens of Thunder Bay?”. Finally, during the lunar eclipse on Nov. 8 the question of “What message would you share with coming generations?” was discussed.


Project Lead: Gavin Shields (Lakehead University and Portal North, Inc.)

360 degree photo of 14 people in a circle outside

Photo Credits: Gavin Shields

Hydroponic Growing Project

The Hydroponic Growing project was jointly funded by the LSLLN and the City of Sault Ste. Marie’s Green Initiatives Fund as an opportunity to teach community members in the SSM and Algoma region about soilless growing systems.  A collaboration between the Rural Agri-Innovation Network (RAIN Algoma) and United Way SSM’s Harvest Algoma, this project aimed to establish a hydroponic growing system on site at Harvest Algoma to experiment with organic vs. inorganic sources of fertilizer.  On November 18, 2022, resident hydroponics expert Adam Hayward facilitated the Hydroponics 101 workshop in the Harvest Algoma greenhouse where he had the opportunity to introduce community members to the basics of soilless growing systems.  Topics including the different formats of hydroponics systems, types of growing medium, pros and cons of hydroponics, and the management of nutrient solutions to optimize plant growth were covered.


Project Lead: Lauren Moran (RAIN Algoma)

Close up of green hoses in pelleted "soil" for hydroponics

Photo Credit: RAIN Algoma

Photo Credit: RAIN Algoma

Towards Foodsheds: Reimagining Food Systems in the Lake Superior Watershed

This project was a phenomenological study of individuals engaged in place-based and justice-oriented food work across the Lake Superior watershed, asking: How do those engaged in place-based food work across the Lake Superior watershed envision a Lake Superior foodshed? The research involved eight key informant interviews using the Lake Superior watershed as a case setting, social constructivist and radical food geographies approaches and mobile and in situ methods, a place-based and situated form of data collection that brings place into the research encounter. The findings charted the path from the boundaries that limit change, the relationships with place and community that ground actions, and how said grounding allows visions of socially and ecologically just food futures to flow outwards. Imagining alternatives does not negate the limitations of existing boundaries but provides a foundation from which to work around and/or through them. As generative rather than reactive approaches, foodshed imaginaries nurture place- and context-specific solutions by mapping where we want our food systems to go, rather than simply tracking where our food comes from and existing problems in food systems.  

Project Lead: Sarah Siska (Environmental Studies, Lakehead University)

Close up photo of blue hubbard saush in a row, in the field on hay

Photo Credit: Root Cellar Gardens

Conference Poster about Cross-Hub Projects

The following poster was presented at the C2U Expo (Community-Colleges-University Partnerships Exposition) at Lakehead University in June 2023.  The poster highlights four of the seven cross-hub LSLLN projects.

Academic Poster explaining four cross-hub projects

These cross-hub projects were supported by a one-time series of LSLLN Mini-Grants (full announcement can be accessed at the end of the project summaries. ).

LSLLN Climate Action Field School (2021)

LSLLN Summit (2020)

Workshop: Scoping Reviews & Living Labs (2019)

An agglomeration of multiple screen captures from the same event showing approximately 16 participants and a presentation on the scoping review process

On November 21st, 2019 the Thunder Bay hub of the Lake Superior Living Labs Network hosted a workshop for LSLLN members to share about:

(1) the purpose and process of conducting scoping reviews,

(2) our intentions for conducting a scoping review of the literature written about living labs, and

(3) consult with network members about the directions of this research and the research questions to examine.