By Alison Hewitt
"The Living Lab just made sense to us as another arm in our innovative teaching practices” says Dr Dianne Werden, Team Leader, Horticulture and Environment, noting the onsite mediterranean gardens, native gardens and reconstructed rainforest resources.
"We also recognise the need for our students to investigate appropriate planting selection under projected climate futures where our cities will likely be hotter and drier".
TAFE NSW Ryde offers courses in landscaping, arboriculture, parks and gardens, conservation and land management, turf and landscape design and is one of the largest horticulture training facilities in the world.
Planted within the grounds of TAFE NSW Ryde, the Living Lab enables data collection from a central northern area of Sydney with a different microclimate and soils to other Living Lab sites, even those not too far away.
"We are aiming to have 20 Living Lab plantings established within the Sydney Basin" said Postdoctoral Researcher Dr Manuel Esperon-Rodriguez.
"This will really give us confidence in our data and enable the many variables at play to be teased apart".
This sort of information will help future horticulturists, arborists, landscape planners as well as conservation and land managers put the right plants in the right places in our urban spaces as our green spaces become ever more precious.