Last night, the 221st Mississauga and Port Credit Pathfinders, part of Girl Guides of Canada, came to Brueckner Rhodo Gardens as volunteers to plant shrubs along the Waterfront Trail near Lake Ontario.
The girls, ages 12-14, worked under supervision of City of Mississauga staff to dig holes, tease roots, plant and tidy two beds along the Waterfront Trail near the bridge closest to Lake Ontario.
The picture above shows holes being dug on the slope that runs down to the beach at the bridge, a slope which is now planted with some of the 14 Rosa Carolina native rose bushes allocated for this area. Some of the Pathfinders parents came along, but the girls did most of the planting.
Some of the Pathfinders volunteers chat with BRG stewardship committee chair, David Culham, who was on hand to explain to the girls the difference between a garden and a park, and how the gardens change with the seasons.
Culham told the Pathfinders the importance of native species plantings, and how rhododendrons are part of a Carolinian forest such as the BRG. He also thanked the girls for giving back to their community and taking ownership of how Mississauga develops and evolves.
After planting, the Pathfinders had time to take in a short tour of part of Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens to learn more about the types of plants and trees. All told, the girls planted 44 shrubs in just over an hour: 14 Rosa Carolina, 10 Witch Hazel, 10 Alternated leaf dogwood, and 10 Chokecherry bushes.
Here, the girls are learning about the Rose Garden, where roses still bloom despite the mid Autumn chill. The Pathfinders asked if they could come back in the spring and do more plantings, and their troop leader said they would also ask the Girl Guides if they'd like to join them.
Of course, we'd welcome such eager volunteers, said Culham, offering an invitation to the Pathfinders and their families to return in the spring when the rhodos are in bloom and they could see how the shrubs they planted in the fall looked in springtime.
Above is a photo taken by Culham in June, and I post it here to give the Pathfinders and Girl Guides a glimpse of how lovely the Gardens are, especially in late Spring.
To find out how you and / or your group can become a volunteer at BRG, see this post.