Green Cred on Campus

And on the seventh day, they rested.

A proposed roof garden at the St. Hildas College residence will take some time yet to complete, but the idea went from vague musing to full-blown plan in less than a week. I had done a bit of research on some grants that we could apply for, says Jasmeet Sidhu, a second-year Peace and Conflict Studies student, and one of the committee members on the roof-garden planning committee. For one application, the deadline was January 31, and we basically formed our group on January 24.

 What followed was six days of intense research and writing to complete a proposal in time to meet the deadline. In creating that proposal we kick-started this whole project and here we are now, says Sidhu, who is joined on the committee by second-year students Naomi Jehlicka and Nina Janic. In February Sidhu, Jehlicka and Nancy Graham 58, who is chairing her years 50th reunion this year and has become an ally in the project, attended a conference on rooftop gardens at the Toronto Botanical Garden to talk with researchers and industry professionals about the details of building and maintaining such a project.

The roof garden is just one of many projects, some large, some small, being researched and carried out by members of the Trinity Environmental Protection Committee and the Trinity Environmental Club. TEC executive member Joanna Dafoe says the College has become well known for its green cred on campus. Relative to our fellow colleges and Ive heard it from many people, not just Trinity students Trinity College is taking the lead on the University of Toronto campus in terms of setting a precedent for sustainability, she says.

A roof garden at St. Hildas would not only provide a leafy sanctuary for busy students and staff, but it would also act as insulation, cooling the building in the sweltering Toronto summers. Structurally, the building is capable of taking the weight of the soil and vegetation, and since the roof will be undergoing repairs anyway this summer, the timing couldnt be better. Funding is the final piece of the puzzle. In late March, the Student Capital Campaign Committee pledged $50,000 in student funds toward the project, and fundraising at this year's Spring Reunion will be focussed on establishing a Green Fund.

Everybody is very excited about the prospect of a Green Fund, says alumna Graham, whose Class of 58 fundraising efforts will go toward the fund, which will allow for the development of environmental projects at the College, the first of which will be the St. Hildas roof garden.

We have the Trinity quad, but this is something for the St. Hildas students, says Sidhu. It would be a little social area, a green getaway.

Graham F. Scott