The University of Alberta is known for its picturesque setting and historic buildings dating as far back as 1908. The environment instills both a feeling of belonging as well as a sense of pride among our community. As growth on our campus continues, the preservation of green space has been raised as a priority and outlined as a strategy in the 2003 Senate Task Force Report on Wellness. The report emphasized a need to increase opportunities and encourage participation in wellness and health initiatives across campus and encourage, promote and preserve green space on campus. The Adopt a Planter program provides opportunities to strengthen our campus community and further the University's goal of becoming amongst the healthiest universities in Canada.
Adopt a Planter is designed to encourage student and staff involvement by creating volunteer opportunities for individuals, faculties and departments. Therapeutic benefits of gardening are well documented. Gardening can help participants in coping with day to day stressors, it provides an opportunity to increase their level of physical activity and assists participants in feeling connected to their environment. Individuals or workgroups can adopt a planter or planters from our designated list to either care for or to create. Perhaps you might want to try your hand at edibles - you can give herbs, or even kale, lettuce, tomatoes, or peppers a try!
If you are interested in adopting a planter, please email your agreement form to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Adopt a Planter Agreement Form is available online and will be accepted until April 30th. Planting will commence after the long weekend in May.
- The flower planter(s) must be adopted for one complete growing season (June - September)
- Adopters may either be an individual or a group, however groups must identify one person to be the contact and liaison with HRS and Landscape Services (Facilities & Operations). The contact should preferably be faculty or staff.
- Planting is restricted to only those areas identified by Landscape Services as Planter Locations.
- Sign up is through completion of the Agreement Form and is on a first come basis.
- Adoptive gardeners are asked to review the list of available planters and note the desired location on the Agreement Form. Please provide a second and third choice in case your first choice isn't available. Your adoption option should also be indicated on the agreement form.
- After planter assignment is confirmed, visit the site to ensure the planter/s are present and the soil level is adequate. Contact HRS/Landscape Services if additional soil is required.
Adoption Options and Responsibilities
There are four options (Care For, Create Floral, Create Edible, and Create Other) that an adopter/adopting team can consider with specific planters allocated to each option.
- Care For
Under this option, the adopter is responsible for the general maintenance of the planter. They should visit the site frequently to ensure the good health of the planter/bed (suggested 4-5 times per week after first planting; 1-2 times per week for remainder of adoption). They will maintain the planter with regular weeding and dead-heading and removing and disposing of litter and weeds. Landscape Services will water the planters on a weekly basis with fertilizer added to the water approximately every second week however individuals should supplement watering as required.
- Create Floral
Under this option, the adopter is responsible for creating their own design using either plants provided by Landscape Services and/or plants they purchase on their own. They or their representative must be present to accept delivery of plants from Landscape Services on the assigned date, rain or shine. Plants must be planted that day or moved to a secure location over night and then planted the following day (Landscape Services is not able to replace plants that may be stolen). The adopter will maintain the beds with regular weeding and dead-heading and removing and disposing of litter and weeds. Landscape Services will water the planters on a weekly basis with fertilizer added to the water approximately every second week however individuals should supplement watering as required.
- Create Edible
Under this option, the adopter is responsible for creating their own design using plants they purchase on their own. They will maintain the beds with regular weeding and dead-heading, removing and disposing of litter and weeds, and harvesting the crop when ready. Landscape Services will water the planters on a weekly basis with fertilizer added to the water approximately every second week however individuals should supplement watering as required.
- Create Other
The raised planters connected to buildings and ground level beds will not be planted or watered by Landscape Services. They are available for adoption for florals only and would have the same responsibilities as Create Floral but the adopter would have sole responsibility for purchasing, planting, watering and fertilizing the planter or bed.
Please note: Do not plant seeds in the planters. If planning to grow your plants from seeds, you must do so in advance so that the seedlings are ready for planting in May.
Responsibilities of HRS and Landscape Services, Facilities & Operations
- Follow up on each Adopt a Planter Agreement
- Provide approval for desired planter location or suggest an alternate
- Regularly watering and fertilizing planters (for Options 1 through 3)
- Acknowledge the adoption through signage placed in the planter and or provide signage of dedication if the adopter so desires. Note: Only one sign per planter/group of planters
- If at any time Landscape Services deems the planter is unsightly, contact will be made with the individual adopter or adopter team lead. If identified issues are not corrected within five business days, Landscape Services will remove the planter
- Spring and Winter preparation of planters
Please send photos of your planter at the peak of the growing season to email@example.com so they can be included in the 2019 photo gallery!