It was fall but it felt like spring, especially inside a set of greenhouses at College Boreal, where tree seedlings and decorative plants unfurled their fragrant needles and leaves.
There were also trays holding hundreds of acorns, freshly harvested from parks in Sudbury, that will germinate in coming weeks and become tiny red oaks over the course of the winter.
The home to all this horticultural – and silvicultural – activity is Boreal’s Applied Research Centre for Biodiversity, which was officially opened Tuesday after a series of significant upgrades.
The agriculture and forestry programs at the school were already making use of a greenhouse, but that facility has been improved and another, high-tech greenhouse has been built alongside it. The centre additionally boasts a classroom, warehouse, drive-in freezer and open-air garden.
“I think this is another key component of what we call quality education,” said Boreal president Daniel Giroux, as college staff and politicians gathered to celebrate the opening and tour the centre.