Laurentian opens new garden and trail aimed at recovery and restoration
It was a special moment for the student body at Laurentian University who wasn't going to let a little rain get in the way of celebrating their latest efforts towards environmental sustainability.
On Thursday afternoon, the Students' General Association (SGA), students, faculty and administration gathered to mark the opening of the new United Nations Recovery Garden and Restoration Trail.
The garden, which is located in Founders' Square, and the trail are meant to celebrate a decade of regreening and recovery.
"Environmental concern has been a big issue for students and they've expressed their voices for like waste reduction and tree planting and things like that. So we want to bring events to our campus to support those needs," said Avery Morin, SGA vice-president, education.
It was a particularly proud moment for John Gunn, the director of Vale's Living with Lakes Centre, to see the student-led initiative.
"The recovery garden will feature all the different plants that the city uses in restoration and the word recovery fits a lot of things, COVID-19, conditions at the university, peoples' mental health. They want to really emphasize that living with nature is a happier way to be," Gunn said.
The ceremony also included video greetings from wildlife conservationist Jane Goodall and United Nations Ambassador Bob Rae, who recalled his many visits to Sudbury.
Rae said the city has developed a new reputation for itself as a city of sustainability instead of the barren moonscape it was once known for.
The garden comes at a particularly important time for Laurentian University students who remain concerned about the future of green space in and around the campus as the school continues to navigate its fiscal insolvency crisis.