The objective of the project was to create a place for people at the Macdonald campus and wider community to experience the interactions between plants and insects and to understand how gardens can be designed in such a way that endangered species can be re-integrated into our backyards in urban areas. Perennial gardens utilizing native nectar bearing plants increase insect biodiversity and enhance bird life on the campus. As well, the butterflies and other pollinators will aid in the pollination needs of the Macdonald Campus community garden.
The gardens will be used to teach students (bachelors, college level, and elemetary) about ecosystem services, insect-plant interactions and the importance of these insects in producing food. After the first year, these themed gardens will require minimal inputs and the student society ASEUS (Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Society) has agreed to monitor and arrange for further maintenance needs.
In the end, two new gardens were established and planted and an unused larger “Medicine Wheel” was also planted. The arrangement and the form of the objects in the space allows for a variety of activities such as a classroom setting, eating, and playing.
For further information conerning this project, or to get in touch with its members, please contact the krista [dot] houser [at] mcgill [dot] ca (SPF Administration Team).