As part of its efforts at ensuring a conducive atmosphere that enhances learning, research, socio-economic well-being of staff and students, the Management of Olabisi Onabanjo University organized a two day training workshop on sustainable landscape management, Greening and beautification for staff in the newly created Environmental Management Unit (EMU) of the University. At the workshop, Mr. S.O. Akinlose led the team for Parks and Gardens while Mrs. N.A. Shomoye, was in charge of sanitation. The Gardeners in the mainstream University and the Centre for Continuing Education (CCED) Campus were led by Mr. O.J Ogunfowodu.
Delivering his keynote address at the workshop, Mr. Michael B. Idowu, the Coordinator, Directorate of Environmental Management, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, observed that the University occupied a large expanse of land, a growing population and various complex activities which were not limited to education and research activities alone. These activities, he posited, directly or indirectly have significant impact on the environment and its sustainability, which may encounter many barriers that could be linked to lack of coordination between the advocates and key constituencies. He submitted that the landscape of the university also plays a major role in providing a conducive atmosphere for students, staff and community, as well as improve the quality of the local environment, to satisfy functional and aesthetic needs while promoting environmental awareness and sensitivity among staff, students and the communities.
Mr. Idowu further highlighted the benefits of good landscape management to include defining the spaces and activities, assisting in climate control and improving the management of surface water, which has appreciable effects on student’s behavior and attitudes. He added that effective management of the environment can help in providing recreation and leisure grounds for students, staff and the University community. He stressed that the overall effect of environmental beautification will enhance the institution’s public image and positive perception.
He highlighted the functions of the Parks and Garden’s Unit to include the promotion of tree planting especially shade and fruit trees and also, the establishment of a plant nursery for the propagation of raising seedling of shrubs, trees, hedges for internal use and, sales to staff and the public, regulate and advise the university management on matters relating to greening projects of the University.
Mr. Idowu listed the functions of the Sanitation Unit to include, the cleanliness of Buildings and Environment, the evacuation and disposal of solid waste materials on the campus, control of insects and harmful reptiles within the University campus, sanitation and control of food vendors’ premises and waste generated and, cleaning of roads and drainages.
The trainees were thereafter given hands-on training on how to use some modern equipment and implements for landscaping maintenance and gardening. Specific trainings were also conducted on the maintenance of Push Mowers, Brush Cutters and Hedge Trimmers.
While addressing the trainees at the Workshop, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde encouraged them not to rest on their oars but ensure that they imbibe every element of the training in order to project the University in positive light. The Vice-Chancellor promised that the University Management team on its part, will continue to ensure the availability of equipment and manpower to achieve its set aims and objectives of providing a conducive environment for research, teaching and learning.