Welcome to the Greening Indoor McGill Initiative!! We are a volunteer group of McGill faculty, staff and students promoting indoor plants throughout indoor work and study spaces at McGill. Why? Because plants can provide multiple benefits to an indoor environment. They can make you feel better. They are good for your health. They can add colour and warmth to the “feel” of an indoor space. Many of them clean and humidify the air. And they can even help you work more productively.
How do we know? Well, certainly from personal experience. But also from the growing research literature across a variety of fields including horticultural science, cognitive and environmental psychology (see Resources).
What does GIMI do? With a grant from the Sustainability Project Fund of McGill’s Office of Sustainability (see links to the right), GIMI has begun a pilot project to support faculty and staff to grow and maintain plants in their office spaces. How are we doing this? Through a collaboration among downtown campus staff and faculty and students from Macdonald campus’ department of Plant Science, we have begun a series of activities: informational and hands-on training workshops, growing plants in McGill’s Plant Science greenhouse for sale at workshops, and now, bi-weekly information and news on the GIMI blog!! Future dreams and explorations: indoor plants in shared spaces (halls, atriums) and living walls. Your participation and input is always welcome! Email heidi (dot) hoernig (at) mcgill (dot) ca to be put on our email list.
Our events to date. We began in April 2012 with an informational workshop organized in collaboration with Human Resources’ Boost Your Health Series. We held two workshops, one downtown and another on Macdonald campus. Plant Science MSc. student Christie Lovat gave a wonderful overview of the latest research findings on the health benefits of plants and lots of practical advice for caring for indoor plants in the office.
With the generous support of the Plant Science greenhouse and staff, and Professor Danielle Donnelly’s Plant Science students – PLNT 310 Plant Propagation, 20 lucky workshop participants came away with an indoor plant of their own.
Our second workshop was a hands-on training called “Braiding and Bonding: A hands-on workshop to braid your very own Ficus benjamina plant.” Under the careful guidance of Plant Science MSc. student Christie Lovat, twenty-five staff participants from across campus learned how to braid and care for their very own Plant Science greenhouse-produced Ficus benjamina plants.
Here Faculty of Arts Team Lead (IT Customer Services (ICS)) Alex Gauthier bonds with his Ficus benjamina while Pharmacology and Therapeutics’ technician Chunwei Huang looks on. (See photo page for more).
In December 2012 and February 2013 we held 4 workshops on moth orchid care. Here is the workshop description. See the photo page for more photos.
Moth orchids are increasingly popular and can bring a burst of colour into your office. But as epiphytes, they are odd plants. On top of that, there is plenty of bad advice on orchid care floating around. As a result, many people experience difficulties caring for their orchids over the long-term. This GIMI sponsored workshop will cover proper methods to make your moth orchid thrive. Orchid-lover and McGill Plant Student MSc student Christie Lovat will address: general information, regular care, growing media, repotting, and getting your orchid to reflower. Participants will receive a single spike Phalaenopsis orchid to take back to the office or home. They will also observe a live demonstration of proper orchid-care techniques. The workshop will run for about 30 minutes with plenty of time for questions.
This workshop is partially supported by the Sustainability Project Fund. Additional proceeds go towards the long-term sustainability of GIMI for plant exchanges, workshops, training, events and pilot projects.