Clara Montreuil, a third-year student in the Pure and Applied Science program at Champlain Saint-Lambert, has been the driving force behind a new permaculture project on campus that was funded by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Champlain Student Association (CSA).

Montreuil has been a dedicated member of the Green Team and served as the Sustainability Officer for the CSA last term.

She applied for a grant from the WWF directed at school-ground initiatives and secured $2,000 to go toward the creation of a beautiful garden space that reflects the biodiversity of the local environment.

“Permaculture is a zero-waste way of gardening,” she said. “It’s based around plants that originate from here and grow well here, and won’t attack any other plants or endanger any species. It works not against the insects and birds but with them.”

After securing the WWF grant, Montreuil approached the CSA who agreed to match the amount, giving her a $4,000 budget for the project.

Montreuil took inspiration from Environmental Geography teacher Geneviève Aboud who spearheaded the campus biodiversity nature walk initiative last spring.

Aboud suggested types of plants and provided information about how to build a garden that would reflect the goals of permaculture.

“Clara is a wonderful student to work with,” said Aboud. ” Both her head and her heart are in the right place; this perennial garden will be a legacy of the positive change she has brought to Champlain.”

Montreuil contacted a local landscaping company and said the project took shape over the summer. The garden was installed on Aug, 16, right before the return to classes.

“It was a really fun project,” said Montreuil. “I learned so much and I’ll definitely try something like that again in the future.”