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April 26, 2000 - Public Gardens Open for Season

News Release

Public Gardens to Open For Season

(Thursday, April 26/2000)-- One of the Halifax Region's most popular visitor and tourism attractions will be opening again to the public next Monday.

In the meantime, Parks and Recreation Services staff are busy preparing and making ready the many walkways, lawn areas, and shrub/flower beds of the Halifax Public Gardens.

Considered to be one of the finest examples of a surviving Victorian Garden in North America, The Halifax Public Gardens date back to 1836 when members of the Nova Scotia Horticultural Society set out to create a garden in the city.

This garden expanded and by the mid-1800's represented approximately 50 percent of the present day acreage. In the early 1870's, the private gardens to the south were joined with the abutting public gardens to the north to become what we know today as the Halifax Public Gardens. It was Richard Power, the first Superintendent, who had the task of bringing these two gardens together and laying out the outstanding floral patterns and designs that are still in place.

From the late 1800's to about 1912, much of the garden statuary, fountains, gazebo, ornamental bridges, grotto and other man-made features were added. Horticultural Hall, known to many as the canteen building in the Gardens, dates back to 1847 and is the original structure. Its stone cellar wall was carefully restored in 1998 and plans are to complete and to restore the remainder of this historic structure over the next few years.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors enjoy the Public Gardens each year and it has become a well-known landmark of the area. This was recognized nationally in 1984, when the Halifax Public Gardens was designated a site of national historic interest by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

As part of the Local National Compost Week events, the "Kick Off" for the Plant-A-Row,

Grow-A-Row Program, in conjunction with the Metro Food Bank, will take place in the Public Gardens at 10:30 a.m. on opening day with a number of dignitaries taking part.



John O'Brien
Corporate Communications Officer

Stephen King
Manager, Parks and Natural Services