Winner of the 2011 Sustainable Tourism Award
Memorial University of Newfoundland Botanical Garden is the province’s only botanical garden and is 44 hectares of cultivated gardens and nature trails, surrounding beautiful Oxen Pond. The Garden was established in 1971 as a centre for botanical, horticultural and environmental research and education. It has been developed to display plants native to the province and cultivated plants suitable to the local climate and to provide access to a number of habitats through a system of trails. Recognized for advancing and enriching sustainable relationships among people, plants and the environment, the Garden seeks to foster an appreciation of Newfoundland’s natural history in the development and future of the university and the province.
The ten acres of cultivated gardens include: a series of rock gardens, including limestone garden and crevice garden, peat beds, English cottage garden, medicinal garden, Newfoundland heritage garden, wildlife-friendly garden, ericaceous border, perennial border, woodland bed, shade garden, white garden, vegetable garden, orchid display, rhododendron dell and alpine house.
The remaining 100 acres is a natural area accessible via nature trails. These trails connect visitors to a display of native Newfoundland plants growing in natural Newfoundland habitats including: wetlands (bog and fen), freshwater (Oxen Pond), riparian, boreal forest (coniferous and mixed deciduous), and Newfoundland barrens. The planted garden area is connected to the natural area by the Ethnobotanical Trail. Interpretive signage is posted throughout the Botanical Garden flower gardens and trails.
A wide variety of programs, special events, art exhibits and flower shows are available throughout the season.
Annual Garden & Nature Art Exhibition is a non-competitive event intended to encourage a focus on nature and gardening through art. This exhibition has been held every year since the Botanical Garden opened in 1977.
International Compost Awareness Week is a full week of free compost talks, demonstrations, exhibits, family activities and more, offered to encourage composting.
Ken Proudfoot Potato Festival is a celebration of the potato; activities include family programs, potato displays, information and tasting, potato peeling contests and more. This event is held prior to Thanksgiving to help raise food and funds to support the Community Food Sharing Association.
Seniors' Day at the Garden is a day to celebrate and honor the seniors in our community. Free transportation, refreshments and tours are available to seniors and their families. Sponsored by the Friends of the Garden.
Conservation and Research:
MUN Botanical Garden’s research into local ecosystem habitat enhancement and management, native plant conservation, biodiversity, and environmental stewardship has always partnered with its public education program, with Garden environmental policies forming the basis for educational exhibits, publications and programs.
In the field of plant conservation, MUN Botanical Garden works closely with the Limestone Barrens Species-at-Risk Conservation and Recovery Team securing long-term persistence of rare plants of the limestone barrens on the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland.
MUNBG is the centre for coordination of Plantwatch Newfoundland and Labrador, a component of the national PlantWatch program, an environmental monitoring program providing data on climate change through phenology (flowering dates). The Garden is also the centre for coordination of Invasive Alien Plant Species Eyes Across the Province environmental monitoring program.
The Garden is a registered participant in the International Agenda for Botanic Gardens in Conservation, the worldwide implementation of the International Agenda in support of plant conservation, environmental awareness and sustainable development and is an active member of Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI).
Pre-registration is required for some programs, including the school program, group bookings, junior naturalist camps, and workshops. Family programs and nature hikes do not require registration. For more information, please contact the Botanical Garden.
Most programs are offered during the Garden's open season, May - November, but school outreach and some workshops are available during the winter. For more information, please contact the Botanical Garden.
Appropriate Ages: A variety of programs are available for a wide range of audiences including school groups (Kindergarten to post-secondary), teachers, early childhood, adults, seniors, families, children, and special interest groups.
Accessibility Notes: The field centre, flower gardens and main trail are wheelchair accessible. The hiking trails are not wheelchair accessible.