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History of MUN Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden was initiated in 1971 as part of the Biology departmet at MUN, but it wasn't until 1977 that the doors were open to the public.  In those 6 years, a vast cleanup was done to remove debris, old car wrecks, oil tanks, and leftover stumps from the 1962 fire that burned much of the back hills after a house fire on Thorburn Road.  The development of the various gardens also took time.  The Garden has gone though many changes and growth since then, including a name change from Oxen Pond Botanic Park, to the current MUN Botanical Garden.

Below is a link to the digital archives at MUN in which a video tour of the Garden was done in 1982.

At MUN: Oxen Pond Botanical Park


The Gardens

 Many changes have taken place on our site over the years, and the gardens are always being updated and expanded. Have a look at some of the photos of the additions over time here.

The Trails and Natural Area

In 1971 the property owned by the university was only about 4 acres.  Over time more and more grounds were aquired, adding up to the 110 acres today. Have a look at some of the photos of the additions over time here:
Timeline of our Gardens

The History of our Location

Previous to the Garden's inception, the area had gone though a war, a cottage settlement, and a popular swimming hole.

The link below is an article on the Intangible Cultural Heritage website about the historic wells and springs that are on the Garden's property.

Link to ICH blog about the historic wells and springs at the Garden


Do you have more on the history of the park or the area to share with others on this website?  Please e-mail our visitor services staff at