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Program will build community, provide exercise and fresh air and be lots of fun

Campus and Community

By Mandy Cook

This year is the Year of the Garden.

The words "adopt-a-garden" are in green against a white background on left side and pink tulips are on the right side.

The Canadian Garden Council’s mission is to celebrate and generate development and growth of Canada’s garden culture. The Year of the Garden provides opportunities to learn more about growing, enjoying and experiencing gardens, and all the vital quality of life benefits they provide.

As such, Memorial is launching its first Adopt-A-Garden Program to help you live the garden life!

If you love gardening or would like to learn, students, staff, and faculty are invited to adopt a garden on the St. John’s campus. Everyone is welcome. Join as an individual or as a group.

“We are so excited to work together to make Memorial’s campus an even more beautiful place, to let our pride shine and to continue to create a dynamic culture on our campus, especially as we continue to welcome everyone back in person,” said Kim Shipp, director, Memorial University Botanical Garden and the Geo Centre.

Gardens up for adoption

Volunteers are welcome to select a garden from the list below to help plant and maintain.

If you are a member of the Memorial community and know of an additional small garden/planter you’d like to adopt, please get in touch with the Memorial University Botanical Garden to discuss.

  • Sun Dial (east of the Arts building)
  • Rose Garden (west of the School of Music)
  • Arts and Admin garden (facing Elizabeth Avenue)
  • Core Science Facility (zigzag gardens)

What’s involved?

Garden care includes maintenance; general cleanup and beautification of existing gardens; annual and perennial planting; weed control; and, best of all, the creation of a garden community at Memorial.

What will I need?

No gardening experience is required, just a love of the outdoors.

Adopters will need to bring their own basic gardening tools (gloves, hand trowel, and, for some gardens, pruning shears).

When will it start?

The Adopt-a-Garden Program officially kicks off on May 1 to coincide with the university-wide spring cleanup.

All adopters will receive an orientation to their gardens. Once you adopt, you and your fellow volunteers will care for your garden from May 1–Oct. 31.

Getting started

Email the Botanical Garden with your name(s) and the garden you would like to adopt.

Adopters will have an orientation session at their garden to learn about the plants and how to care for them and will be assigned a garden mentor.

Signage will recognize volunteers for their volunteer commitment to maintaining their gardens and for their contributions towards making St. John’s campus a beautiful place.


    • All are welcome: students, staff and faculty
    • Select the days and times that work best for you; visit the garden area regularly to keep it looking beautiful
    • Enjoy spending time in your beautiful community garden!
    • All gardens are the property of Memorial University. Volunteers may not add plants unless previously approved by Facilities Management
    • Gardens are available on a first-come, first-served basis
    • Facilities Management will install signs that read “Maintained by…”
    • Facilities Management will water gardens as personnel and time permit
    • Volunteers are asked to keep all walkways and paths clear of obstructions and not leave soil, compost, tools or other materials on or in any street, walkway or path
    • All personal property items, including tools, must be removed from the garden the same day they are used. The university is not responsible for lost, stolen or discarded personal property brought to or left in gardens

Bring the community together: adopt a garden!

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