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Date: October 23, 2008

Donors Honoured for Gift of Sustainability

Donors whose gifts contribute to a more sustainable campus and also provide students with an open-air classroom were honoured at a special ceremony at the University of Victoria today.

The ceremony marked the naming of the courtyard garden nestled between the two wings of the new Social Sciences and Mathematics as the “Ian Ross Memorial Garden,” in memory of the man who oversaw the growth of Butchart Gardens into a world-famous attraction. Ross’ daughter Robin-Lee Clarke, the current owner/operator of Butchart’s, made the gift to establish the garden in memory of her father.

“My father, Ian Ross, had an association with the University of Victoria stretching back to its forerunner Victoria College,” says Clarke. “He was instrumental in helping start the University of Victoria and the family is very pleased that the University is choosing to honour his memory with this garden.”

Well-known environmental activist Vicky Husband and Jane Chapman, mother of renowned UVic ethnobotanist Nancy Turner, also contributed to the Ross garden. Husband was also among several donors who contributed to the new building’s green roof.

The Ross garden and the green roof both feature indigenous plants and provide UVic environmental studies students with the opportunity to get out of the classroom for hands-on study of plant propagation and growth.

The Social Sciences and Mathematics Building was built to gold-level standard in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating standards program. It is the third campus building registered in this program. The building is 33 per cent more energy efficient than the Model National Building Code, has several water conservation features, and incorporates pine-beetle killed wood—the first architectural application of this wood in the province.
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Media contacts:
To arrange advance interviews with Robin-Lee Clarke contact Daphne Gardner at 250-652-4422 ext. 321 or 250-544-4481or daphnegardner@butchartgardens.com
Patty Pitts (UVic Communications) at 250-721-7656 or ppitts@uvic.ca

UVic media releases and other resources for journalists are available on the World Wide Web at http://communications.uvic.ca/media

(image: fern)