Growing Community in the Greenhouse

Newly built pond and hydroponic system

Often marked by a purple glow, Concordia’s greenhouse sits near the intersection of 12th Avenue and 8th Street South, a center point of the campus. As a partially student-run space, it’s not uncommon to see student workers tending to varieties of plants and other aquatic life. However, up until recently, there was no intention to open the greenhouse to all students as a collaborative space.

After utilizing the garden for neuroscience research, senior Ian Scheele wanted to change that. So, in tandem with a few Concordia staff members, he got to work.

“We started sharing ideas and I spent a bunch of time working in the greenhouse,” he said.

Harshana De Silva Feelixge is a lab technician at Concordia and helped navigate the process. Dr. Krys Strand, associate professor of biology and director of Concordia’s neuroscience program, also helped guide the pond's progress.

Scheele spent this past summer revitalizing the space, using ingenuity to create a sustainable ecosystem. One of his largest projects centered around the pond.

“The pond was a little lackluster,” he said.

Using PVC piping and a retired shoe rack, Scheele was able to give the pond new, self-sustaining life. The pond is now home to several different species of aquatic life.

“In the pond specifically, is our filtration system,” Scheele said. “It uses plants and leca, light-expanded clay, as a filter for the larger chunks of pond debris.” 

The system is hydroponic in nature, so no soil is needed. Hydroponic systems often require less water and space than traditional, soil-based gardening, making this system both impressive and sustainable.

Collaboration also in mind, a few ground-level chairs and a bench were installed to promote community. If all goes to plan, the space will soon be open to all students looking to be surrounded by plant life.

For more information on greenhouse happenings, follow @cord_greenhouse on Instagram.