If you have not yet visited the Sunshine Coast Botanical Garden this season, you have a lot to take in. During the past year, three new projects were completed: the new entrance, the Emily Lasuta Learning Centre, and the Mountainside Habitat.
The official ribbon-cuttings for the new entrance were held in September – there were two small events to prevent crowding – celebrating the new gates, driveway, parking, and pedestrian plaza.
This project has been funded almost entirely by local individuals and small businesses.
Contractor Spani Developments arrived Oct. 7, 2019 with their big machines, beginning this new phase of the Garden. Houston Landscaping, Sechelt Ironworks, H&H Contracting, and KAG Tree Service were also major contractors.
In the Native Plants Garden, a new section has been completed featuring the plants that grow on higher elevations on the Sunshine Coast. The Mountainside Habitat includes our Mount Elphinstone rhododendrons, and higher elevation trees similar ones at sea level, such as subalpine fir, mountain hemlock, and Douglas maple.
The Emily Lasuta Learning Centre is located within the Native Plant Garden, with interpretive signage by Jan Poynter. Funders for this garden are also all on-coast – Sunshine Coast Community Forest, West Coast Log Homes, and Bill and Ann-Marie Lasuta.
Since the Garden reopened in June post-COVID closure, the number of visitors has been double that of other summers. Visitor comments have been more than enthusiastic. “You really feel like you’ve arrived someplace special,” one guest wrote.
In this 40-acre site, it is easy to keep within your bubble without limiting your opportunities. Come to walk, photograph, picnic, play and discover new trails, gardens and views. And of course, autumn is the time of handsome fall colours and a myriad of mushrooms.
The Sunshine Coast Botanical Garden is at 5941 Mason Rd., Sechelt, and is open Friday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. through winter. The Garden is a non-profit charity. Admission to the Garden is by donation, $5 to $10 per adult suggested, and much needed. Membership in the Garden is inexpensive and allows unlimited visits, plus many other opportunities. For information, visit www.coastbotanicalgarden.org/membership/.
Meet you at the Garden!
– Submitted by Paddy Wales