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Environmental and Sustainability Education


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. 


Giant Sunflower


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.

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.

Beets (beta vulgaris)

Beets have visually appealing red stems and bright green leaves and below the surface, is the rich red root. Beets provide a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Its inclusion in the garden provides a metaphor for environmental and sustainability education as it aims to be the foundation, resting just below the surface, of OISE’s research, teaching, and learning.       

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.

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Resources on Environmental and Sustainability Education 

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