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Sprucing up

Adopt-a-garden: Volunteers' time and energy beautifies St. John's campus

Campus and Community

By Mandy Cook

Summer 2022 saw volunteers sign up for Memorial’s inaugural Adopt-a-Garden Program.

Rich Blenkinsopp, the Gazette’s official photographer, took some time over the growing months to visit several green spaces that students, faculty and staff adopted on the St. John’s campus.

Have a look at the photos below to check out their efforts.

And, if you’re considering joining up next season, get in touch with Memorial University’s Botanical Garden.

1/ Lambe's Lane

The building that houses the Office of Alumni Engagement and the Office of Development was cleaned up and spruced up by a number of volunteers. Here, Marie Perron (foreground) and Nadine McGrath tidy up the wood chip mulch around the annuals that their team planted.

Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

2/ Chemistry-Physics building

Nurul Bin Ibrahim, pictured at left, is a third-year physics major from Bangladesh; Yimiao Zhao, at right, is a fourth-year physics major from China. "I saw this as an opportunity to conserve nature, so that it can also take care of our needs," said Mr. Bin Ibrahim, whose mother is a botanist who passed her passion for gardening on to her son. "It will also create a recreational space for the people in the building who can take a stroll out for peace of mind."

Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

3/ Rose garden, School of Music

Pictured is Hope Bennett, a laboratory instructor in the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science. Ms. Bennett says she signed up for the Adopt-a-Garden Program because of gardening's mental and physical health benefits. She also says she wanted to learn from other gardeners give the campus's gardens some TLC. "Gardens and green space are known to be calming, and I think our students deserve an attractive green campus," she said. "There is a wealth of gardening knowledge across the Memorial community and I would love to see this knowledge harnessed to help steer landscaping decisions."

Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

4/ Student work experience

Harlow Browne, pictured here at the rose garden by the School of Music, worked as the volunteer co-ordinator for the Adopt-a-Garden Program this summer. They say that some of the potential plans for next year are signs indicating which gardens have been adopted by volunteers and thank you events. They also said the more attractive the gardens, the more likely students and alumni will be attracted to use the gardens as backdrops for graduation, engagement and anniversary photos.

Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

Year of the Garden 2022

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. The Memorial University Botanical Garden encourages you to live the garden life!


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