The MUN Botanical Garden is a beautiful treasure hidden right within the city. Free to all MUN students and open daily from 10-5 from May to August and 10-4 from September to November, it makes for a great and accessible escape into nature.

The Garden merged back into Memorial as a unit with the office of public engagement. For the last 19 years, the Garden was an incorporated not for profit charity. This development is a welcome change that will allow for greater collaboration between the Garden and MUN’s academic units.

“Now that we’re back to MUN we have a better opportunity to expand the research and educational aspects of the garden, and we’re very happy about that,” said Monique Maynard, Special Projects Coordinator at the garden.

The 100 acre nature area boasts five nature trails (3.5 km), a greenhouse, and a large cultivated area with themed gardens such as the heritage and rock gardens. For nature enthusiasts, there are bi-weekly Sunday morning bird walks and frequent afternoon nature hikes.

The Garden’s Field Centre includes a cafe and gift shop, and provides educational workshops to young students, new and seasoned gardeners. It also hosts monthly art shows, with groups of artists changing each month.

The garden is hosting many special events throughout the summer. These include the twenty-sixth annual Floral Art Show on July 13 and 14. As well, the seventh annual Rose Show is on July 20 and 21. These events are free to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend.

The Garden is also hosting its second annual New Plant Showcase on August 18—an event which features new plants deemed worthy of trialing in the Newfoundland climate. The Garden is collaborating with other local horticultural groups and the Friends of the Garden to host a city wide garden tour on August 3 and 4 as well.

For artists looking to display their work, there is the Annual Garden and Nature Art exhibit in the fall. This will mark the thirty-sixth exhibit, which aims to encourage the photography and illustration of natural things. Though the event is not until November, the Garden is putting out the call to any and all artists to consider submitting pieces. The only stipulation is that the work must be natural in theme, meaning no pets, people, or structures.

“No one is turned away. Any medium, and range of artistic ability is accepted,” said Maynard.

The Garden is looking for volunteers. It receives much support from the Friends of the Garden Volunteer group, and invites anyone interested in broadening their scope of gardening or nature.

The Garden aims to be an outstanding botanical garden which connects people with the environment, and is achieving this goal by actively engaging with the public.

“MUN has been a great support in bringing the Garden to the next level of excellence,” said Maynard, who encourages MUN students to come out and take advantage of the beauty of the Garden and their free admission.

MUN Botanical Gardens are located on Mt. Scio Rd., St. John’s. Read more online