Embracing Memorial University's special obligation to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, we will connect people and plants by igniting curiosity and a sense of wonder.
A University Garden:
Our passion and motivation is cultivating dynamic research, teaching and learning, and public engagement, making us an indispensable resource for the University.
A Botanical Garden:
Our hallmark will be excellence in horticulture, plant conservation, and environmental sustainability.
A Community Space:
We are the keepers and champions of the Province's flora, protecting and sharing this knowledge in a beautiful space where learning is fun, where plants are exciting, where everyone wants to visit.
Sense of Place:
We foster a sense of place, that sense of place special to Newfoundland and Labradors, taking pride in our designed and natural spaces, collections, and displays.
We will act in a manner that is environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable in our operations, academic, research, and community programs.
We put nature first. Learning, sharing knowledge, protecting plants and habitats is key to good stewardship and conservation and vital for the health of our community.
We want to engage, learn, and share knowledge. We seek meaningful connections with local, provincial, national, and international scholarship. We want to connect with our visitors, they are important, as are awe-inspiring experiences and exceptional customer service.
We are ready to be challenged, to embrace and drive change.
Work to create a botanical garden started on May 15, 1971 as part of the Biology department at Memorial University. It took 6 years to undertake a massive cleanup of debris, old car wrecks, oil tanks, and leftover stumps from a 1962 fire, not to mention plan various display gardens. The original intent that still holds true was to create a display of native and cultivated plants suitable to the local climate and to provide access to a number of habitats through a system of trails. Since officially opening to the public on July 12, 1977, the original Oxen Pond Botanic Park has grown from 4 acres to the Memorial University Botanical Garden encompassing 110 acres today.
Timeline of Our Gardens:
Alpine House: 1991
Asian Garden: 2012 (was originally the White Garden).
Compost Demonstration Area: 2005 (no longer active)
Cottage Garden: late 1970s, renovated many times
Crevice Garden: 2009.
Potager Garden: 2014, originally the Dried Flower Garden, built in 1995-1996.
Greenhouse: early 1970s.
Heritage Garden: late 1970s.
Medicinal Garden: 2002.
New Plant Showcase: 2012.
Peat Beds: early 80s.
Perennial Border: 1973, renovated several times since
Pollinator Garden & Chalet: 1993 (first named the Wildlife Friendly Garden)
Rhododendron Border: 1989.
Rhododendron Garden & Ground Cover Display: 2015
Rock Garden: original Rock Garden was built in 1975, with an expansion including a Limestone Rock Garden added in 1992.
Shade Garden: 2000.
Teaching/Children's Garden: 2015.
Trough Collection: On display since 2014
Trough Garden: 2017
Vegetable Garden: 1970s, renovated with raised beds in 1997
Woodland Beds: early 1980s.
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 Botanic Park
The History of our Location
Previous to the Garden's inception, our site was 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
Have a memory to share? Can you add to our history? We'd love to hear from you at email@example.com.