Adopt a Flower Bed
The 2003 Senate Task Force Report on Wellness called for increased opportunities in wellness and health initiatives and recognized the need to preserve green space on campus. In response to that report, the university launched the Adopt-A-Planter program. This gives students, staff and faculty the opportunity to volunteer in planting and growing flower and edible plants all over campus.
The therapeutic benefits of gardening are well documented. Gardening can help participants in coping with day to day stressors it provides an opportunity to increase their level of physical activity and assists participants in feeling connected to their environment.
Individuals or workgroups can adopt designated planters and flowerbeds located around campus. Seasoned volunteers can purchase, plant, maintain and harvest all on their own. Landscape Services is also available to help new gardeners select and purchase plants, water, and prepare the beds for winter.
Learn more about past Adopt-A-Flower gardeners and visit the online photo gallery.
Campus Community Gardens
There are several community gardens at the University of Alberta, one for nearly every campus.
The Prairie Urban Farm is a new, one-acre mixed crop garden on South Campus. An initiative born out of the Faculty of ALES, community and student participants can get their hands dirty, learn food production skills and get involved in local food security. The garden organizes educational workshops on topics ranging from composting and beekeeping to planting and canning. Mentors are available to help volunteers develop their gardening knowledge.
The Green & Gold Community Garden is a project of the School of Public Health and the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences. The garden occupies two acres on the South Campus and is run entirely by volunteers. The garden grows over 60 types of vegetables, herbs and flowers, including many heirloom varieties (older or local strands that you won’t find in the supermarket). All proceeds from the garden go to the Tubahumurize Association for marginalized Rwandan women.
Sustain SU’s Campus Community Garden began in 2003 in partnership with the Alberta Public Interest Research Group (APIRG). The garden is run co-operatively by volunteers who do not take ownership over the harvest, but share and work together to maintain the entire plot. Sustain SU promotes local, resilient food production by showcasing pesticide-free, organic techniques.
The Augustana Community Garden is the newest campus garden, in Camrose, Alberta. Student volunteers have plenty of opportunity to learn about gardening right from the basics. The garden aims to increase Augustana’s food security, donating much of the produce to the cafeteria and The Chapel’s Tuesday night soup-suppers.
The Edmonton Organic Grower’s Guild Garden is a large community of volunteers from all different backgrounds and of all ages. At harvest time, volunteers take what they need and donate the rest. The garden is successful enough to donate thousands of pounds of food to organizations across the city, including the Campus Food Bank. They have also been working with the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences and Community Service Learning to integrate the garden into future educational programs.
The Jardin communautaire Campus Saint-Jean Community Garden is a bilingual group open to staff, Résidence Saint-Jean students and members of the surrounding neighbourhood. It sits on the same location that was farmed almost a century ago by the Fathers of the Juniorat Saint Jean. Some of the sustainability initiatives of the garden, which is located in the field west of campus, include responsible water use, using organic waste from the residence as compost, and fertilizing solely with organic materials