BY OLIVIA PULHAM
Sheridan’s Office for Sustainability is looking for volunteers to take care of the wildflower garden, located between the Athletic Centre and the A wing at the Trafalgar campus, where buckthorn ─ an invasive shrub not indigenous to Ontario ─ used to be.
Coordinator for the Office of Sustainability, Wai Chu Cheng, says the office is small and can’t take care of the garden themselves. “We have one staff and one volunteer watering the plants three times a week.”
The volunteer has been raking and watering the wildflowers. They have also been making sure to pull buckthorn out of the garden if they see it.
Lisa Eschli, digital assets technician for intuitional repository, is the volunteer for the garden. She says it would be easier if she wasn’t working alone. “It is a two-person job to set up the four hoses from the Athletic Centre to the far end of the garden, a job currently done by one volunteer.”
“It would make switching out leaking hoses and laying the hoses in the garden without crushing the wildflowers so much simpler to have a volunteer partner. Untangling knots in the hoses might not be needed if a partner helped to layout the hose from its coiled state.”
Cheng says having Sheridan supporting the garden will make it a better project. “They will help take care of the environment that affects us directly on a daily basis.”
Eschli believes that the staff and faculty of Sheridan should support the initiatives of mission zero. She says this is a project that will make the campus look better.
Volunteering has made her feel more a part of the Sheridan community. “I’ve meet new people in departments across the campus.” “I planted two of those plants at the Welcome back event and I feel pride in our community of Staff and Faculty that we built this garden together. I volunteered because I wanted this garden to succeed.”
Eschli says the watering of the plants was harder than expected. “It takes about 45 minutes to set up all the hoses. If watering by hand each plant should be watered for 10 seconds, since there is so much mulch around each plant. Watering the whole garden will take 1 hour 30 minutes of standing over each plant. By sprinkler it takes just over 4 and a half hours to water the whole garden.”
“Once established those wildflowers will do well, year after year in that space. It will attract butterflies and shouldn’t need water maintenance, because they are all native plants built for Ontario weather systems,” said Eschli.
The volunteers will be provided with the tools needed and be given instructions about their duties.
Maddi McDougall, a Sheridan student in Game Design, helped plant wildflowers last year. She says she enjoyed her time and learned a lot. “I really do like gardening so if the opportunity rolls around and I had time, I’d do it again.”
More information about the wildflower garden is on the Office for Sustainability website
To volunteer contact firstname.lastname@example.org