Central Experimental Farm National Historic Site Management Plan (16 of 20)

V.2 - Management Approach

Governance and Partnerships

In resolving the issues of a strategic direction for the management of the CEF, a more appropriate governance framework has been discussed. To support and sustain the primacy of the Research Option, AAFC will have a primary responsibility for the site, and its roles will include those of asset manager, facilities coordinator, cultural resource manager, custodian and program manager. As a result, it will be required to take a leadership role for strategic planning and operations.

With the continuing presence of other federal custodians on site and on adjacent parcels of land, a formal set of MOUs will be required. Since these custodians are equally bound by federal policies, obligations and benefits, the agreements will focus on day-to-day issues. More work will be required to establish and monitor agreements with non-federal agencies, such as the Fletcher Wildlife Garden, the City of Ottawa, and neighbouring communities.

Overall, the governance structure for the Research Option approach is much simpler and more continuous with past practice than those for the other Options under consideration. However, given the ever-increasing number of overlapping jurisdictions on and around the site, it may be appropriate to set up a site-specific management body that would coordinate O&M activities and discuss larger capital investments.

Agricultural Policies and Research Directions

The Agricultural Policy Framework encourages AAFC to use its lands and programs to support broader agendas related to ecological issues. These larger issues of land-food-community have been part of the history of the CEF since its establishment, but the extent to which the CEF will be used as an instrument to support the policy will be part of ongoing debates on long-term research strategies. There are some who would like AAFC to make strategic decisions regarding the use of the CEF for furthering research into sustainable cities, ecological agriculture and the connections between the two.

Role of the Canada Agriculture Museum

A museum with an appropriate mandate could develop the curatorial skills needed to maintain the Arboretum and ornamental gardens for science, education and enjoyment. The Museum of Nature may have relevant expertise in dealing with dynamic cultural resources. Program funding for museums, however, is even less stable than funding for scientific research and this presents a challenge over the long term.

Urban Forestry

The research value of the Arboretum is evident to experts in urban forestry, but this area of research is not strongly supported by NRCan and other federal scientific departments, nor does it receive funding at the provincial level. Shared initiatives may be needed in this area between various federal departments, other levels of government, and the private sector.