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, and is located near the town of Devon, Alberta in Parkland County. 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.
The 240-acre garden is an award-winning visitor attraction, a research site, and home to year-round adult and children's education programming.
The garden received an Alberta Emerald Award for its outdoor environmental education programs, attended by more than 17,000 children per year. It was named the Top Botanic Garden in Canada in 2014 by the Canadian Garden Tourism Council. 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 May through Thanksgiving, 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.
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 facility was renamed as the University of Alberta Botanic Garden in 2017.
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 MOU signed between the Aga Khan University and the University of Alberta in 2009, the University of Alberta has requested His Highness the Aga Khan to develop an Islamic Garden within the grounds. This request was accepted and construction is underway.
- University of Alberta Botanic Garden: Location, retrieved 24 July 2015
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