Students gardening on campus Aug 2023
Students gardening on campus Aug 2023 by Doug Smyth

Peace Garden revived thanks to Phys. Ed. students

The work of Paul Wasacz’s students in his Eco Landscaping Physical Education course can be clearly seen in Dawson’s Peace Garden, located on the western side of the campus toward Wood Avenue in Westmount.

During their intensive course, which began Aug. 17, “they worked, weeded and removed lots of invasive goutweed in an attempt to allow the native plants to continue to grow and thrive,” he told the Communications Office. “They moved mulch and created defined borders around the entire Peace Garden. The mulch was spread around many campus trees as a protective barrier.  They also cleared the walking paths to make the area more user friendly.”

In addition, the students created microhabitats with felled trees, enjoyed a Living Campus tour and learned about the history of the Peace Garden, which was developed by the Dawson community in 2007.

Paul said that the students were mostly first-years and that the course gave them the opportunity to get to know their campus and meet people. “The students reflected that they were affected by the feeling of making a difference even if it was small and on a local level,” Paul said. “They felt they were giving back and that their efforts were reciprocated in that their work made them feel happy and excited that they were creating a better space for all.

“They were thrilled to take action and create a better campus. They also appreciated the idea that many aspects of exercise and well-being were accomplished by gardening and being outdoors.  They realized that exercise does not need to fit a stereotypical vision, but optimal wellness and physical fitness can be achieved in many ways, one of them being gardening.”

Last Modified: August 30, 2023