Free: Devonian Gardens!
The University of Alberta Botanic Garden is opening its gates to children for free this fall, to offer a respite from the challenges of a pandemic year.
“Kids and their families, students and teachers are all going through a lot, especially this fall,” said Carl Charest, interim executive director at the Garden. “Their schools are different. Their sports and clubs have been cancelled. They haven’t seen many of their friends all summer. Kids and families are stressed. They need a chance to relax and be outside and forget their cares for a little while. Getting kids connected to nature is something so necessary to wellbeing, and that’s a remedy the Garden can provide.”
The decision to let kids in for free this fall is just the beginning of a bigger dream, said Charest. “We want to extend this initiative into the future so that children will always have free admission to the Garden, and for that, we need involvement from the community.”
The Garden is looking for community partners to help make free admission for kids an ongoing reality. But, said Charest, the dream doesn’t stop there – the ultimate goal is that all the Garden’s award-winning children’s programs, like school field trips, will be free and accessible to all kids.
“We know that the natural world and our connections to each other are what sustains us, grown ups and children alike. It’s so important. We can make sure that children from all walks of life have a chance to be restored by nature and learn to see the trees in the forest.”
In addition to free admission, the Garden is also developing safely distanced, fun activities to engage kids when they visit.
Children ages 0-17 and students get free admission to the UA Botanic Garden until the last day of the open season on October 12, 2020. Admissions must be reserved in advance online.