Monday, October 4, 2010

Archbishop Romero Catholic SS Students HELP Grow Brueckner Rhododedron Garden

Mississauga Secondary School outreach initiatives program benefits BRG

Sept 29, 2010: Brueckner Rhododendron Garden was a classroom for the day for Mississauga high school students in the Humanitarian Experiential Leadership Program (H.E.L.P.) at Archbishop Romero Catholic Secondary School.

About a dozen students came to the Garden with H.E.L.P. teacher, James Scott Neil, to plant wildflowers and shrubs under the direction of Gardens volunteer David Culham.

Archbishop Romero Catholic SS HELP Naturalize Tecumseh Creek

On a crisp Fall morning, H.E.L.P. students with garden gloves and shovels got some hands-on experience with soil and native plantings in the Wild Flower Bed, a naturalized green space located between the Waterfront Trail and Tecumseh Creek.
"The students planted all 36 Cardinal plants and dug 50 holes for new shrubs," said David Culham, Brueckner Rhododendron Garden Stewardship Committee volunteer member.  "They then dug another 10 holes for rhododendrons, and then they cleaned out the Garden nursery. They packed a trailer load of plastic for recycling."

Volunteer Student Gardeners ~ Waterfront Trail Wildflowers

David Culham distributes T-shirts to Archbishop Romero H.E.L.P. students. Gardening is messy work and clean clothing is appreciated at the end of a hard day's work. The students and teacher came to the Garden at 7 a.m. and worked for 5 hours.
"We reorganized our existing Cardinal flowers that had been planted in 2008 to a more visible front row in the flower bed," said Culham. "The Cardinals had been planted behind the taller, bushier Sky Blue wild asters, and so they couldn't be seen from the Waterfront Trail. Now they are very visible. These three dozen new plants will add a needed splash of bright red."

Archbishop Romero SS Students ~ Interim Place Memorial Bed

The area of Brueckner Rhododendron Garden where the students were working is the site of the original Interim Place shelter for women and children. A memorial bed and plaque commemorate the work of this local charity. Said Culham:
"It seemed appropriate to show the students the memorial for the house that had been on the site where they were digging and planting cardinal plants. That discussion came up because of nails they found in the soil and asked me how they came to be there."

"The students did an excellent job and they were great company."

James Scott Neil (above photo, far right) administers the H.E.L.P. program at Archbishop Romero Catholic Secondary School, located at 90 Dundas Street West in Mississauga.
'Environmental stewardship is only one aspect of the H.E.L.P. program designed for senior-level students (completing Grade 10 or 11) who will thrive in an experiential learning environment, and are looking to make a difference in the world through a variety of community and international social action. It appeals to young people who seek adventure, and are inspired to contribute positively to local, national and global communities in the spirit of catholicity.' Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board.
On behalf of City of Mississauga garden staff and volunteers, a big Thank You to the teacher and students for your work in the Garden!

Cardinal Plant - Native Wildflower Added to Naturalization Area

Brueckner Rhododendron Garden is in its final year of major expansion and upgrading, says Para Kanp, head gardener. About 95 percent of the work is done, said Kanp, with about one year's work ahead to completion. Groups and other volunteers such as these students are an enormous help with the work yet to be done, and with ongoing garden cultivation.

 Brueckner Rhododendron Garden Archives - DJ Culham

For more information on how you can help grow the Garden, call 311 [within Mississauga / Brampton.]

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