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Vol 39  No 14
May 17, 2007


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Saluting the builders of the Botanical Garden

Garden entrance -1970
Garden entrance -2007

This year is the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Botanical Garden on Mount Scio Road. Back in 1977 after five or six years of back-breaking labour, careful design, skilful soil husbandry and planting, the Oxen Pond Botanic Park (as it was then known) threw its doors open for visitors to enjoy the trails and gardens.

Nowadays the MUN Botanical Garden Inc., is a thriving 110-acre facility attracting 30,000 visitors per year. It has a year-round staff of 10 (in research, display and administration) that rises to 25 in summer with seasonal staff and summer students.

“The success story that the garden represents is based on the past,” said Dr. Wilf Nicholls, the director of the garden. “For without the people that put it all together, there would be no MUN Botanical Garden.

“This year we are pleased to celebrate the vision, dedication and hard work of our first garden manager Bernard Jackson and early staff members Gerry Yetman, Aly O’Brien, Dianne McLeod and Rick Owens who, along with volunteers, friends and Charlie the horse, turned a rather unkempt area around Oxen Pond into the acclaimed garden that it is today.”

A Salute to our Builders will take place on May 30. At that time the Bernard S. Jackson Rock Garden, and the Yetman, O’Brien, McLeod and Owens Trails will be unveiled and dedicated to their efforts.

“It promises to be a fine afternoon of laughter, memories and reflection with volunteers, old and new friends,” said Dr. Nicholls.

The garden is open daily, from May until November. For tickets and/or to make a donation, please contact the garden at 737-8590, fax 737-8596 or e-mail wnicholl@mun.ca.

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