By Kirk Starratt
Students at the Kingstec campus are commemorating the life of a man described as an “icon” of the horticulture industry and gaining invaluable experience at the same time.
The Tim Tregunno Innovation Garden at the Nova Scotia Community College’s Kingstec Campus was officially dedicated Oct. 24 with a ceremony held in conjunction with the campus’s open house.
The Tregunno family owns and operates the Halifax Seed Company and Tim was well known as huge supporter of the horticulture industry, including the Horticulture and Landscaping programs at Kingstec.
Tregunno passed away last year at age 55 following a battle with cancer.
He is also well remembered for a gardening segment on CTV’s Live at 5, which is now being carried on by his daughter, Emily Tregunno.
Emily, who is in charge of marketing at Halifax Seed Company, said it’s an honour to see her father’s life and industry contributions recognized with the innovation garden. It’s humbling to see his legacy carried on through this project, she added.
“Horticulture was his life, he loved it,” Tregunno said. “He enjoyed seeing people going into the program and looking for a career in the industry.”
She said he was a great supporter of the horticulture industry, both locally and across the country, and was a great admirer of continuing education.
First-year Horticulture student Greg McGuire of Halifax said he thinks the innovation garden will be a great addition to the Kingstec campus and a great contribution to the Horticulture program.
“It’s going to be great,” McGuire said. “I’m really looking forward to working on it.”
Tim Amos, faculty of Horticulture in the School of Trades and Technology, said there was a huge turnout for the dedication ceremony Oct. 24. An English Oak, donated by Maritime Landscape Services of Windsor, has been planted and the demonstration, trial garden will be continuously evolving.
“Students in first and second year have to do a research project,” he said. “Because the garden will be fluid and changing, students can research new, innovative techniques we can try here.”
Amos said Halifax Seed Company would assist with the materials. They want the garden to demonstrate the newest technology and plants people might not have seen, along with some interpretation.
Amos said Tregunno was always visiting when they held open house events, hosted industry meetings and put on garden displays.
“He was always there when we needed him,” Amos said. For example, Tregunno donated all the materials the program needed for its retail certification.
Horticulture program assistant Bonnie Levy said Tregunno did so much for the Landscape Nova Scotia association and was an icon in the landscaping and horticulture industries.
“Students will be maintaining the garden as it develops over the years,” she said. “We’re honoured that the innovation garden is here. It will definitely allow students to hone in on skills and learn about plant materials.”
The garden is located to the west of the greenhouses at Kingstec.