Monday, August 22, 2011

Guerrilla Gardens of Silver Springs

What is the biggest Botanical Garden in Calgary? If you thought perhaps the Reader Rock Garden or the Calgary Zoo, think again. Duncan Badger, co-chair of the Botanical Gardens of Silver Springs claims to co-chair the largest volunteer garden in Calgary (15,000 square foot of flower beds on a 20 acre site including the Birthplace Forest- size unverified by this gardener). "We'd like to be better known by gardeners" said Badger, when we met last friday at the garden, a series of long planted flower beds along Crowchild trail's sound attenuation fence.

To find the gardens, managed and maintained by volunteers on Calgary roads and Calgary Parks property, use your google earth map to find the parks headquarters shed. It is at 6555 Silver Springs Crescent NW Calgary. "Admission" is free to this public park gone indie. According to a Parks staff unofficial statement, this is a guerrilla garden, not one officially sanctioned. Working on a right of lease with Roads and Parks, Badger's garden boasts official Donors (for money and materials), 10 volunteers and almost weed free beds. Quite an amazing thing if you compare it to many of the less manicured official parks in the city.

Is it a Botanical Garden? Probably not. If you like a plant you are going to have to guess it's name. There are no official records of or testing and labeling of plants. Is it a fun and great idea? Sure, why not beautify our city one road allowance at a time.

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