Celebrating Twenty Five years in Bloom
This five acre botanical garden grew from an idea conceived in 1990 by two St. Albert citizens who shared a love of horticulture. Former mayor Richard Plain and retired city landscape planner John Beedle had a vision to create a garden in an area with a zone 3 plant hardiness rating where the results of growing various trees, shrubs, perennials, and vegetables could be carried out and released to the general public. With the support of the City of St. Albert they have realized their dream. The Society of Friends for the St. Albert Botanic Park was incorporated in 1990 as a non-profit charitable organization. This body oversees the Park's development and manages its operations. The St. Albert Botanic Park was established in 1990 on property leased from the City, and groundbreaking occurred in the fall of 1992.
John Beedle and members of the Founding Board, along with local landscape architects, prepared the first plan for the Botanic Park. This concept plan outlined a series of theme gardens: shade, xeriscape, flowering trees, evergreens, and cottage-style perennial. Today these themed gardens provide the setting for displays and trials of roses, lilacs, daylilies, Asiatic lilies, peonies, and lilacs to name a few, as well as vegetables and annuals.
The Park is operated and maintained entirely by volunteers and two summer employees. The Park has grown into what it is today with time and effort donated by community members and garden lovers. Membership in the Society is open to the general public and "green thumb" skills are not a prerequisite.
Despite being in operation for over 20 years the Park has stayed true to its origins. Both Richard Plain and John Beedle are still active member volunteers and will willingly share stories of the Park's history. We are also honored with visits from the daughters of the Atkinson family, Gladys Gibson and Helen Naundorf, who owned the land that the Park is situated on between 1919 and 1954! The Park has installed a replica birdhouse of the Atkinson family's home in the same location as where their house originally stood.
Over the past 20 years the St. Albert Botanic Park has become a jewel in the heart of St. Albert. Annual Park events include our Mother's Day Rose Sale, Canada Day Strawberry Tea, a yearly Rose Show, Picnic in the Park, and Christmas in October in the Gift Shop. Adult education classes are also offered every spring and fall and our grade one "Little Sprouts" program has become extremely popular with the local elementary schools. The Park also hosts a number of outdoor wedding ceremonies and other special community events, and has become an increasingly popular gathering point for the general public.