Canadian Museum of Nature

Canadian Museum of Nature

June 17, 2016 10:15 ET

Landscapes of Canada Gardens Unveiled at Canadian Museum of Nature

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 17, 2016) - The Canadian Museum of Nature has opened a new outdoor botanical exhibition, the Landscapes of Canada Gardens, during the launch of national Garden Days 2016.

This space on the museum's property features about 40 native species of trees and plants typically found in Canada's boreal forest, Arctic tundra and prairie grasslands. A fourth section, the Mammoth steppe, recreates an Ice Age habitat complete with life-size sculptures of a mammoth family. Support for the gardens is provided by Scotts Canada Limited.

"These gardens are a wonderful extension to the museum's permanent galleries that present the riches of Canada's natural environments," says Meg Beckel, the museum's President and CEO. "Museum visitors and members of the community now have a new way to learn about some of the country's amazing botanical diversity and to further their connection with nature."

Museum botanists worked closely with CSW Landscape Architects to develop this living exhibit. Other support came from the Living Prairie Museum in Winnipeg and the Montreal Botanical Gardens. Interpretive signage and species labels guide visitors on the botanical journey through the ecozones. Park benches, and a picnic area provide spots to relax or take in the gardens.

"Gardening is one of the many ways that Canadians connect with nature, and we are pleased to support Canada's national museum of natural history in bringing the Landscapes of Canada Gardens to life," says Karen Stephenson, Director, Regulatory Affairs and Stakeholder Relations with Scotts Canada Limited. "We look forward to continuing to work with the museum in its efforts to share knowledge about the natural world."

"Every year, Garden Days invites Canadians to get active in nature by celebrating the role of gardens and gardening in daily life," says Michel Gauthier, Executive Director, Canadian Garden Council. "Opening a new garden here in Ottawa is a great way to launch this national event."

The gardens include several areas for "natural play", such as a log trail in the boreal forest section. In the tundra zone, visitors can roam around a 13-metre stainless steel sculpture, inspired by icebergs. It was created by sculptor and adventurer William Lishman. The sculpture's large size contrasts with the tiny tundra plants such as Arctic willow, bearberry and sedges.

The large expanse of the grasslands section includes about six species of grasses and species such as black-eyed Susan, purple cornflower and prairie crocus. The boreal forest section will let visitors encounter a variety of coniferous and deciduous trees, from a stand of four trembling aspens to the jack pine, an iconic symbol captured by artist Tom Thompson. Trilliums and ferns also share the ground with rotting limbs from a dead tree, which symbolizes the regeneration that is so vital to the life cycle of a forest.

Access to the Landscape of Canada Gardens is free and the space is open year-round. The museum is located at 240 McLeod Street, Ottawa. Follow the museum on Twitter (@museumofnature) and like us on Facebook. For more information, visit nature.ca.

About the Canadian Museum of Nature

The Canadian Museum of Nature is Canada's national museum of natural history and natural sciences. The museum provides evidence-based insights, inspiring experiences and meaningful engagement with nature's past, present and future. It achieves this through scientific research, a 10.5 million specimen collection, education programs, signature and travelling exhibitions, and a dynamic web site, nature.ca. The Museum curates the National Herbarium of Canada, which houses more than 1 million specimens. Its research botanists are recognized for their expertise in Canadian and Arctic flora.

Contact Information

  • Information for Media:
    John Swettenham
    Director, Marketing and Media Relations
    613-566-4249; 613-868-8277 (cell)
    jswettenham@mus-nature.ca

    Dan Smythe
    Senior Media Relations Officer
    613-566-4781; 613-698-9253 (cell)
    dsmythe@mus-nature.ca