Community garden pilot to grow employee health and wellness – Queen's University

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Learn how Queen’s is planning for our safe return to campus.
Employee Wellness Services, in partnership with Facilities and Sustainable Queen’s, is launching a new pilot initiative aimed at improving employee health and wellness while contributing to a more sustainable and vibrant campus community.
The Employee Community Garden is located on Queen’s main campus in the courtyard adjacent to Jeffery Hall. It includes two large communal plots that can support up to 15 gardeners per plot and are available for this growing season, June to October, on a first-come, first-served basis. Communal plots are shared garden spaces that are open to all registered gardeners for cultivating things like vegetables, fruits, herbs, native plants, and/or ornamentals. Gardeners work together to plant, harvest, and maintain the plots over the course of the season.
“The Campus Wellbeing Framework identified that wellbeing is rooted in, among others, social connectedness and the places we learn and work,” says Sydney Downey, Director, Employee Wellness Services. “This pilot initiative is intended to provide employees with an outlet on campus to connect with one another while improving their own health and wellness, and our campus as a whole. We hope it inspires people to take the time they need to get outside and explore shared interests.”
Those interested in participating in the pilot can register on the HR Intranet for free. Registration provides gardeners with basic necessities including access to a designated communal garden plot, water, and gardening tools. Registered gardeners are jointly responsible for the planting, harvesting, and ongoing maintenance of the communal plots, as well as clearing the plots at the end of the growing season in October.
In addition to the pilot initiative, Employee Wellness Services is offering a free planting workshop with the Rideau 1000 Islands Master Gardeners on Tuesday, May 31, from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. This hands-on, in-person workshop will introduce participants to planting easy-to-grow vegetables and herbs including leaf lettuce, peas, tomatoes, peppers, onions, basil, thyme, and more. Seeds and seedlings will be provided. Participants are encouraged to bring their own gardening gloves.
The workshop will take place on campus in the courtyard adjacent to Jeffery Hall. In the case of inclement weather, participants will be notified, and the workshop will be rescheduled for Wednesday, June 1, Noon – 1 p.m. Interested employees can email [email protected] to register for the workshop. Registration is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
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