Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Lesmill Gardening Extravaganza

More than 20 OPSEU head office staff volunteers participated in the very successful Native Plant Gardening Extravanganza on July 16. 5 new garden beds were prepared. Three rows of sod were removed and will be composted to make room for the return of indigenous plants like astors, sunflowers, strawberries and a host of others.

"Before" - Gary, Francis, Heino, Kay
With 30 degree temperatures, digging out sod and weeds can be a lot of fun! (not) The 10-tier Memorial Garden near the front of the property is the centre piece of OPSEU's landscaping. (Heino started off the day biking in from Etobicoke.)

The OPSEU Memorial Garden pays tribute to OPSEU members and all workers who have died on the job. The plaque may be relocated within the garden.

Bringing in the heavy machinery! After several people sweated it out digging up the first level, the roto-tiller was put to use.

Francesca, Archana & Francis
Old sod and weeds were wheel-barreled to the back of the building where a new composter is going to be located.

Archana & Heino

Wendy, Heino, Mary Anne, Archana




Mary Anne & Aura

Patty & Gary
Janice Hagan dropped off another load of native plants provided by her partner and our advisor Greg. When I began this assignment in February, Patty (the person I report to on all things green) mentioned the garden on her long list of priorities. Things took shape in the spring when we met Greg and were persuaded to restore 100 Lesmill to native plants to promote a biodiverse habitat for birds, other animals and plants. I must confess that I have a personal interest - having grown up on a tributary of the West Don River in Downsview (OPSEU is near the East Don River). I have fond memories growing up with the ravines & natural beauty of the Don and that has shaped who I am today. It's a privilege to have the opportunity to a be kind of shlepping project manager for this endeavor.

Francesca plants a 4 year old Tulip Tree which will take another 12 or 13 years before flowering.

These 3 rows are partially planted but there's room for more. There are 10 tiers in the Memorial Garden. The goal for this year was to remove all the non-native plants and to prepare and plant the 1st three rows.

Aside from work on the Memorial Garden, this bed, beside the OPSEU sign was weeded, prepped and planted.

This is one of the beds that was planted a couple of weeks ago.

More pics to come. Beginning a project of this scope at this time of year is a huge challenge. It would have not been possible without the enthusiasm, energy and co-operation of Aura Bellin, Andrea Bowden, Eddie Brennan and the building services staff, David Cox, Steve Crossman, Mary Anne Di Adamo, Scott Elliot, Wendy Elliot, Cindy Forsyth, Tina Furman, Rick Janson, Martha Josephian, Lisa Kesper, Archana Mathews, Manzur Malik, Peggy Maybury, Heino Nielson, Patty Rout, Shannon Roe, Francis Rustia, Gary Shaul, Kay Singh, Francesca Sinicropi, Smokey Thomas, Emily Visser, Carol Wilson, Louise Woltman, Eleanor Woodruffe and anyone I missed.

New volunteers are always welcome.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

question: since liriodendron tulipifera, the tulip tree, is a carolinian forest native, is it actually going to survive the harsher winters north of the lake???

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