A pair of St. Clair College Landscape Horticulture students will travel to Manheim, Germany this month for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Natalie Petrovski, 22, and Sydney Bachmeier, 23, were recently selected to represent the City of Windsor, St. Clair College, and Canada as part of an international contingent building a garden for the German National Garden Show or BUGA ‘23 in Mannheim from July 9-16th. Petrovski and Bachmeier will be Canada’s contingent among multiple groups of international participants from Sister Cities of Mannheim – two from each around the world. These groups will work together to build an approximate 800-square-meter area to become “The Garden of Twin Cities” in Luisenpark, a 41-hectare municipal park on a bank in the Neckar River in Mannheim.
Petrovski, 22, grew up in Tecumseh and recently graduated from Landscape Horticulture with the Class of ’22. Petrovski said she is excited about the opportunity to meet other horticulture students from around the world and observe the different practices of everyone involved in this unique international garden-building environment.
“We will be staying in hostels and during the day we will be working on the garden, but when we are not working, they will be taking us to some restaurants and take us sightseeing around the town,” Petrovski said. “The skillsets of everyone won’t be too different around the world so as long as you are there and are willing to get your hands in the dirt and do something to help out that’s all that matter.”
Bachmeier, 23, just completed her first year studying Landscape Horticulture and believes this international garden building experience will allow her to learn much more than she ever considered before starting at the College.
“My first year has been a lot to take in but absolutely amazing in terms of all the experience I've gained because the program is a hybrid of Landscaping and Horticulture industry knowledge and practices,” said Bachmeier, who grew up in Windsor. “Personally, I enjoy the installation process of a new garden, so I am very excited to see everything come together collaboratively in Mannheim this month. I want to learn as much as I can from everyone in the group, as everyone is bringing their own different experiences to the mix. I also can't wait to see the different plant materials in the city when we go sightseeing-- both to appreciate it and to compare it to home.”
Sandy MacDonald, program coordinator of Landscape Horticulture Technician at St. Clair, believes this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Sydney and Natalie to join with other youth horticulturists from around the world for this important horticultural event.
“I’m very sure that “Team Canada” will use the skills they have developed in the St. Clair College Landscape-Horticulture Program to add a Canadian touch to this international garden,” MacDonald said. “We are proud to have them participate in this event, being great representatives of our Country, City, and Campus. Our thanks too, for the assistance of the City of Windsor, the Parks and Forestry Department in particular, in passing along this opportunity for them to take on this project with our sister city/twin city of Mannheim, Germany.”
The completed garden will be a key component of the BUGA ’23 Garden event and will remain a legacy of international horticultural cooperative efforts.