10-Minute breaks at VIU 

Carly Breault Contributor

feeling of dread that permeates our lives as soon as midterms arrive. With grades at stake, all efforts go to studying indoors, leaving little downtime. Extended periods of intense study can be overwhelming and lead to stress and anxiety. One of the best solutions to rejuvenate is physical activity outdoors. Fortunately, at VIU, you do not have to go far: a simple 10-minute jaunt to one of VIU’s on-campus pockets of nature will help you feel invigorated and give your mind a break from the complexities of schoolwork.

Okayama Gardens 

VIU’s Horticulture program students were given the task of designing and constructing a garden that incorporated both Japanese and western gardening styles. The result is a tranquil, picturesque, conflation of indigenous and Japanese plants founded on West Coast rock and cedar, with Chinese granite lanterns and traditional twin-tied bamboo grid-fencing. The garden is located between buildings 200 and 205.

Community Peace Garden 

The Community Peace Garden was developed and implemented by VIU’s Solutions: A Sustainability Network. It is a quaint, naturistic destination, where volunteer gardeners maintain raised garden beds. There are ample sitting areas, including the unique cob bench. To repair vandalization that fractured the cob bench in the summer of 2011, volunteers repaired and replastered the bench with a waterproof horse-manure plaster. The garden is located between buildings 355 and 356 and the library.

Kwulasulwat Garden 

A beautifully carved welcoming statue marks the Kwulasulwut (meaning “many stars”) Garden, situated at the side of the stairs leading to the upper buildings. Benches planked on wooden logs provide a pleasing sitting area for reflection and rejuvenation. The garden honours Dr. Ellen White, a Snuneymuxw Elder and former Elder-in-Residence, who was recognized for her contributions to the Arts One First Nations Studies department, and to Aboriginal education as a whole at VIU.

Tamagawa Garden 

Japanese garden specialist Roy Tanaka designed the peaceful Tamagawa Garden—a gift to VIU from Tamagawa Univeristy of Tokyo. Flowering trees, an arching bridge suspended over a pond filled with colourful koi fish, and encompassing evergreen trees make for a gratifying escape in the centre of a busy campus. Stairs in front of building 325 lead the way up to the garden, situated beneath the upper science buildings.

Jardin des Quatorze 

The Jardin des Quatorze is a memorial garden erected in honour of the victims of the 1989 École Polytechnique Massacre. An arbour inscribed with the garden’s name serves as the entrance to a quaint grassy field, backed by a small forested area. The Jardin des Quatorze is located behind building 360.

Log Cabin 

The hillside Log Cabin, tucked into a clearing of trees on campus, is regularly used as a classroom. The cabin is considered a legacy having been built by students and instructors of the Forestry department in the 1980s. The forest diverges into two trails, perfect for a quick study-break stroll. The Log Cabin is located at the top of the campus, beside building 360.


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