Turf & Rec

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Kwantlen horticulture students lend helping hand to give local needy family’s yard complete makeover


December 21, 2010
By Mike Jiggens


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FOR the fourth consecutive year, Vancouver’s Kwantlen Polytechnic
University horticulture students have partnered with Cornerstone Church
and has given the Beaudoin family of Port Moody a home renovation
makeover.

Chantal Beaudoin is a single mother with a 10-year-old son whose aging Port Moody home was in desperate need of repair. Compounded by her serious mobility problems—the result of a train accident six years ago—modifying her house and landscape for improved safety and accessibility was critical to the family.thumb_beaudoinweb

Similar to the television show Extreme Makeover Home Edition, the Beaudoin family was sent away for a week while Kwantlen and Cornerstone Church completely renovated the house and yard. Over the course of two days, 25 Kwantlen turf management students volunteered their skills and time in the midst of a busy mid-term week to give the Beaudoin family a functional and aesthetic outdoor space.

Leading their fellow Kwantlen horticulture students in this challenge, Alyssa Chuback, Alexis Weissler and Fred Tucker developed a yard design and worked diligently to secure donations and materials of more than $9,000 from nine organizations in the turf and landscape industry.

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“Kwantlen horticulture students gave 110 per cent to this makeover project, working tirelessly to show their compassion for a deserving family,” said Stan Kazymerchyk, Kwantlen turf management instructor. “They demonstrated hard work, respect, cooperation, creativity and showed excited smiles throughout the whole process. I am very proud of everything our students were able to accomplish.”

On the first day of construction, 11 Kwantlen turf management students worked on the Beaudoins’ home as they tilled compacted soil, integrated compost and installed a premium back lawn, complete with an irrigation system. On the day of completion and final reveal, a group of 15 students concluded the project while impressing the Beaudoin family with an attractive yard that was built in a relatively short time.

The project included:

• a showcase front yard of perennials, trees, bulbs and mulch
• meticulous grading and installation of paver stone patio
• accessible raised garden planter boxes with arbor and drip irrigation
• attractive border bank of perennials, waterfall and covered hammock

Kwantlen’s yard makeover projects from the previous three years are still being kept in top condition. The families think of their new yards as soothing, peaceful sanctuaries and have continued to improve their yards even further.

Kwantlen’s school of horticulture provides students with opportunities in greenhouse and nursery production; investigations into forest infestation by insects and fungi; and research into environmentally-safe practices of weed and insect-free urban grass surfaces, parks and home gardens.

For more information, visit http://www.kwantlen.ca/hort.