Spring has sprung a little sooner at the Nova Scotia Community College Pictou campus with some new greenery sprouting up in one of the campus hallways.
A brand new living wall was installed in one of the main hallways of the school as part of a project from the campus Enactus group.
The idea came from student Tristin Mabey after a visit to the Ivany Campus in Dartmouth. The other campus has a large living wall that stretches a couple of storeys high. Upon seeing this, Mabey mentioned to Enactus staff advisor Anne McDonah that she would like to do this at the Pictou Campus.
Official planning for the project never started until September. Along with classmates Emaleigh Murray, Courtnie Cameron and Devon Palmer, the group used some class time to plan for the project and start getting things off the ground.
“We first started by painting the wall green,” said Mabey, adding that the paint they used was liquid rubber to help prevent water getting on the wall. Over the duration of the project, different disciplines in the school were all called on for help: Carpentry built wooden slat panels to go on each side of the wall, machining and welding classes helped build the structure to hold the plants, plumbing students built the irrigation system for the wall, cabinet making creating a box to go around the light for the plants, and the School of Access also helped with different parts of the project like planting.
The group also had help from Mike’s Gutters with a small water catchment system at the bottom of the wall for excess water and from Forge Home and Garden store. The plants themselves sit in small pouches made of recycled plastic with root wraps around the plants in the pouch to help them live longer.
“It’s a super rewarding feeling,” said Mabey about finishing the project and having it on display. Along with the living wall, Enactus is working on putting a friendship bench across the hall from the plants to help create an inviting and relaxing space.
“There’s a bunch of studies that prove plants help with mental health,” said Mabey. As part of the initiative, they had a display to show what the wall would look like earlier this year on Bell Let’s Talk Day. To help with fundraising, the group is selling bamboo straws from Vietnam that are considered dishwasher safe, antibacterial and sell for $2 each, or $8 for five, or 10 for $15. Contact the NSCC for details.