Visitor Information 2021
You can expect to find your happy place when you visit the University of Alberta Botanic Garden!
Relaxation, rejuvenation and enjoyment are only 15 minutes SW of Edmonton. At this garden in a forest, you'll discover how nature ignites your "happy hormones", while you experience a peaceful, beautiful natural environment. Explore cultural gardens, northern climate-hardy plant collections and extensive natural areas, all on 240 acres.
In addition to a peaceful stroll through a beautiful garden, you can expect other pleasant diversions. We have a lineup of special moments to add to your experience , all designed with safety in mind. You can learn more about what's coming up at the Garden here.
Your happy place is waiting!
The Garden is open daily, 10 am to 10 pm.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, operational changes may be in effect. We are following the guidelines of public health officials and the University of Alberta. Please take a moment to read about the measures we are taking to ensure visitor and staff safety, and plan ahead for an enjoyable visit. Check this website before you come to the Garden, as information may change.
Reserve Your Visit
All visitors must make advance reservations using our online system. This helps us manage capacity and flow of visitors in the Garden, minimize contact points, and allow for physical distancing. We are required to gather contact information for all visitors to the Garden, which we will do at the time of reservation.
There is no limit on group size. There are no group discounts in 2021.
Before You Visit
- Visitor information might change during the season. Please check this website for the most current updates.
- Please plan to arrive on time. Entry times are staggered to ensure adequate physical distancing for patrons.
- Masks are suggested in all indoor spaces (eg. washrooms), or if you are unable to maintain social distancing.
- Social distancing of 2 meters is suggested.
Do not come to the Garden:
- if you have a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose or shortness of breath.
- if you are a close contact of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.
International guests are welcome to visit as long as you have no symptoms and have met requirements as specified at https://www.alberta.ca/isolation.aspx
- Please follow signage and direction from staff.
- Is is suggested that guests maintain physical distance of 2 meters / 6' from any person or group who is not part of their immediate household or cohort.
- Some garden areas and nature trails are closed for maintenance.
- All indoor spaces are closed, including showhouses and Welcome Centre. With the exception of washrooms, indoor spaces will remain closed for the 2021 season.
- Tram service is currently closed - there are no golf carts for public.
- Please call ahead to arrange loaner wheelchairs (limited availability).
Food and Beverage
- Outside food is not permitted, with the exception of water bottles and small snacks (eg. granola bar, fruit). Picnics with outside food are not permitted.
- The Patio Cafe concession is open, serving light snacks and beverages.
- Brunch Boxes and Twilight Picnic Packages are available for purchase - advance booking is required.
Most areas of the Garden are accessible on paved or brick pathways. Some parts of the Garden may be challenging for unassisted wheelchairs (eg. hills, rough terrain).
Tips for Enjoying Your Visit
- Outside food or picnics are not permitted. Brunch Boxes or Twilight Picnics can be reserved from the Garden in advance. Light snacks and beverages are available for purchase at the Patio Cafe.
- Bring your camera - there are many photo opportunities!
- Comfortable walking shoes will make your day a happier one.
- Dress for the weather – in Alberta, that means come prepared for any eventuality.
- The Garden Shop is closed, so remember to bring your sunscreen, mosquito repellent and umbrella.
- Gardening enthusiasts – bring your notebook or phone so you can note the names of amazing plants you’d like to try in your own garden.
- Leave animals at home. With the exception of certified service animals, pets are not permitted at the Garden. This restriction is lifted on special Dog Days only.
- Smoking of any kind, including vaping and cannabis, is strictly prohibited inside the Garden.
A Note on Garden Maintenance
When you visit this year, you may notice that some spots in the Garden look a little on the “wild” side. The Aga Khan Garden and Kurimoto Japanese Garden, both located near the entrance, are among our most highly maintained areas. As you venture beyond these iconic gardens, you may see that some areas look less than ideal.
We are in the midst of a severe drought and have experienced unprecedented heat waves this summer. This takes a toll on plant life. We are conserving water resources and directing water to our plant collections - that means we've let the grass go dormant in some areas. In dormancy, the grass might look dead, but it isn't - it's simply the response of the grass to dry conditions. When it rains, the grass will green up again.
In addition, a few areas have been closed for necessary rejuvenation. The University is going through structural changes to address funding issues, and the Garden is no exception - significant reductions to our budget are a reality. And our priority to keep the Garden safe for guests during COVID-19 has complicated operations.
We’re determined to come out the other side of these times with a thriving, resilient and sustainable Garden that will serve you and the community as a place of peace, joyful gathering and connection to nature -- and each other -- for many years to come. We’ve mustered all our collective creativity, energy and focus and are doubling down on our mission to connect people with the earth so they cherish the essence of life.
In the meantime, thank you for your patience and understanding. Bear with us - better things are coming, they'll just take a little time.
We want to know about your experience - the great, the good, the ugly. If your expectations weren’t met during your visit, please let us know so we can make it right at email@example.com.
For more information call (780) 492-3267 or email firstname.lastname@example.org