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Environmental and Sustainability Education

ESE Garden Environmental and Sustainability Education Garden

The environmental and sustainability education garden encourages the preservation and protection of natural ecosystems by creating a healthy community of living organisms. Its plantings support a wide system of living things, from the plants themselves, to pollinators (like butterflies and bees) that they attract, to the people that will experience it.  This colourful garden includes native plants that are eco-friendly, water wise and low maintenance to demonstrate OISE's commitment to sustaining a healthy environment.  This garden also represents the important of balance (through cycles and symbiosis) in supporting other species, eco-literacy, and plants indigenous to our region, which require little maintenance and consume little water. 

Prairie Smoke (Geum triflorium)

Prairie Smoke is native to Ontario and a hardy, low maintenance plant. Its blooms are pink and purple and it attracts birds and butterflies. Itis an early bloomer in the spring, with pink Seuss-like flowers.

Giant & Semi-Dwarf Sunflower (Helianthus giganteus/ Helianthus mezzulah)

The bright and sunny sunflower stands for optimistic strength and hope in the garden. Its familiar yellow blooms draw visitors in and welcome them into the garden experience. Popular with pollinators, the sunflower rapid growth and extension from the ground up mirrors that of environmental and sustainability education at OISE.      

Pale Purple Coneflower (Echinacea pallida)

Echinacea is a plant that is native to North America and has many uses. Medicinally, it has been used extensively in the treatment of colds and infections as it is thought to stimulate the immune system and decrease inflammation. Drought tolerant, it blooms in beautiful pinks and purples in the summer.

Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

Milkweed has light pink flowers and contains a bitter white sap that protects it from predators. The sap also is essential nectar for many butterfly species, including monarchs.  It has been included here to symbolize the role that sustainability plays in the pollination of ideas across disciplines.

Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

Wild bergamot or bee balm is a fragrant native plant to Ontario that has clusters of soft pink or purple flowers. It has long been used by Indigenous peoples of North America as a medicine and antiseptic to treat colds (brewed as tea) and infections and wounds (ground into a poultice). Tea made from wild bergamot has also been used as a stimulant in tea.

ESE Garden Map

Resources on Environmental and Sustainability Education