University of Alberta Botanic Garden

The University of Alberta Botanic Garden (formerly the Devonian Botanic Garden) is Alberta's largest botanical garden. It was established in 1959 by the University of Alberta. It is located approximately 3.1 km (1.9 mi) west of the city of Edmonton, Alberta and 5.9 km (3.7 mi) north of the town of Devon, in Parkland County.[1]

University of Alberta Botanic Garden
Devonian Botanic Garden (1959–2017)
Water feature and bridge in the Japanese garden
TypeArboreta/Botanic gardens
LocationParkland County, Alberta
Nearest cityEdmonton, Alberta
Coordinates53°24′29″N 113°45′24″W / 53.4081°N 113.7568°W / 53.4081; -113.7568
Area0.97 km2 (0.37 sq mi)
Operated byUniversity of Alberta
Visitors70,000 (2018)
OpenMay 1 – September 1

History edit

The garden was created in 1959 and established on donated land.[2]

The garden was originally designated the "Botanic Garden and Field Laboratory" of the department of botany at the U of A. In the 1970s, after the garden was severely damaged by floods, a donation from the Devonian Foundation, along with funds raised by the Friends of the Garden, helped to repair the damages, create a system of canals and ponds, construct a headquarters building, and purchase more land. In recognition of the donation, the name was changed to the Devonian Botanic Garden.

The Friends of the Devonian Botanic Garden was founded in 1971 as a fundraising group to support the aims and objectives of the garden.

In conjunction with an enhanced memorandum of understanding signed between the Aga Khan University and the University of Alberta in 2009, the University of Alberta requested the Aga Khan IV to develop an Islamic garden within the grounds. Planning the garden took nearly a decade, and construction lasted 18 months. It was designed by the architectural firm Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects. The Aga Khan garden opened to the public in July 2018,[3][4] and its Diwan Pavilion was opened in 2022.[5][6]

Throughout the 2018 season, gardeners completed the planting of over 25,000 new perennials, trees, shrubs, and wetland plants, and add finishing touches on landscaping. The total cost of the Aga Khan Garden was $25 million. The garden is tagged as the "most northerly Islamic garden in the world".[7][8]

The botanical facility was renamed as the University of Alberta Botanic Garden in 2017.[9][10] In September 2017, it invested $4.9 million to renovate its front entrance and parking lot.[11][12]

Description edit

A lamp and forest path in the Japanese garden

The gardens extend over 30 hectares (80 acres) of 12,000-year-old sand dune shoreline of pre-glacial Lake Edmonton, and include an additional 65 hA (160 acres) of natural areas.

It is linked to the North Saskatchewan River via the Parkland County trail and will soon be linked to a 74 km Edmonton Capital Region river valley recreation trail system.

Highlights of the garden include the Kurimoto Japanese Garden; a Tropical Showhouse with exotic butterflies; Temperate and Arid Showhouses; extensive alpine, herb, rose, peony, lilac, lily, and primula collections; Native Peoples Garden; trial beds, and much more. The Garden is open to visitors from May through Thanksgiving (Oct. 8), and year-round for adult and children's education programming.

It contains a diverse variety of plants, with emphasis on cold-hardy plants that can survive the harsh extremes of a Zone 3 climate.

As a unit of the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences, the garden is also a site for research, including plant conservation and diversity. A fully digitized herbarium contains a large collection of bryophyte specimens that is used for research and teaching, as well as horticultural plants grown at the garden.

Every June, the Edmonton Opera company plays music in the park for one day during an event dubbed Opera al Fresco.[13]

Awards edit

  • 2013: Alberta Emerald Award, for its outdoor environmental education programs[14]
  • 2014: Botanical Garden of the Year, awarded by the Canadian Garden Council.[15]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ University of Alberta Botanic Garden: Location, retrieved July 24, 2015
  2. ^ Moira MacDonald (June 6, 2018). "University botanical gardens and arboreta are more than just pretty places". Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  3. ^ "Landscape architects journey far in designing Aga Khan Garden". April 6, 2017. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  4. ^ Caley Ramsay (June 27, 2018). "Aga Khan Garden set to open southwest of Edmonton". Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  5. ^ Beya, Christiane (November 3, 2022). "The Diwan Pavilion opens at the Aga Khan Garden, Edmonton". Canadian Architect. Retrieved October 17, 2023.
  6. ^ "Featuring multiple Islamic motifs and design features, the Diwan pavilion by AXIA Design Associates is a space for meeting, cultural exchange, and celebration". Global Design News. October 17, 2023. Retrieved October 17, 2023.
  7. ^ Southam, Greg (October 16, 2018). "Aga Khan officially opens Islamic garden". Postmedia Network Inc. Edmonton Journal. Archived from the original on February 16, 2020. Retrieved February 16, 2020. awsfddasd
  8. ^ Footz, Jill (July 21, 2018). "The Aga Khan Garden – A sophisticated, stunning oasis". Aga Khan Foundation. Family Fund Edmonton (Canada). Archived from the original on February 16, 2020. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  9. ^ "Botanic garden in Devon renamed University of Alberta Botanic Garden". March 7, 2017. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  10. ^ Alex Boates (March 9, 2017). "New name announced for botanic gardens". Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  11. ^ Juris Graney (September 29, 2017). "University of Alberta Botanic Garden parking lot part of $4.9-million makeover". Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  12. ^ Juris Graney (April 7, 2017). "Aga Khan drops $25 million gift on University of Alberta Botanic Garden". Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  13. ^ Kyle Muzyka (June 12, 2015). "Opera al Fresco in its sixth year at Devonian". Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  14. ^ "Green School and Kids in the Garden". Alberta Emerald Foundation. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  15. ^ "Canada's Garden Route - 2014 Garden Tourism Award Winners". Retrieved June 4, 2019.

External links edit