Garden Photos






       Gardens – Amazing and unbelievable facts!!

Many visitors to the Gardens and BirthPlace Forest have remarked that it is amazing that such an area could be found in the heart of Calgary and that community volunteers are mostly responsible for its continued maintenance and development.

The BirthPlace Forest was established in 2002 with the planting of 7000 trees.


The project was initiated and completed through the efforts of BP Energy, Calgary Parks, Regional Health and Golden Acres.

The Botanical Gardens were establish in 2006 and since then have been mostly funded by community donations.

Last year, 62 people contributed $15,420 to help us maintain and develop the Gardens and the BP Forest trails.



The total distance from the Half Moon Garden to the south end of the Forest is 1.4 km.

The total area of the Gardens and the Birthplace Forest Park is 20 acres or 871 200 square feet.

The total area of cultivated gardens is 39,735 square feet.


The elevation at the south entrance to the gardens off Silver Springs Gate is approximately 3,694 feet.

                       Oval Garden

At the north end, by the Half Moon Garden, the elevation is 3,811 feet or a difference of 117 feet.


Ever wonder what happens to all the plant materials such as weeds, pruned plants and bushes, and autumn leaves?

We use it to produce 2.5 tons of compost which is eventually spread on the various beds to keep them healthy and fertile.

Five tons of compost (donated by Bluegrass Nurseries) are also spread on the beds.

Over 200 truck loads of mulch have been used on the trails since the Gardens project first started.

Elders from the Church of Latter Day Saints helping out with the spreading of mulch
. This group came all the way from Utah, California and England to help us out - among other things.

We now spread about 10 truckloads (20 000 pounds) a year to maintain the many trails.


There are 178 rose bushes planted throughout the gardens.

In total, there are 75 different varieties.

Between 2009 -2014, the City Parks Department have donated close to 2000 annual bedding out plants for our gardens.

Thank you City Parks Department for your continuing support.


Calgary is unique in that it has the only Shakespeare Garden in Western Canada.

To complete the new pathway, 4023 bricks were used.

Quite a variety of wild life has been spotted in the Gardens and Forest areas.


These include: coyotes, deer, rabbits, squirrels, weasels, porcupines, and pocket gophers.


Since 2007,
between 30 and 40 volunteers have put in approximately 30 000 hours developing and maintaining the various areas!

Last year, 21 women and 12 men put in close to 6000 hours to maintain and develop the Gardens and forest areas.

We can always use more volunteers – men and women! Many of the major gardening tasks require the involvement of men to carry out the heavier jobs.

A lot of damage occurred throughout the City during last summer's “Snowtember.” The Birthplace Forest and Gardens were not spared.

Through the efforts of our volunteers, visitors were soon able to enjoy the gardens once again.


The City Parks Department expressed special gratitude to volunteers John T. and Derwyn H. who hauled away over 40 trailer loads of broken branches and trees from the BirthPlace Forest.


To water the various Gardens, besides the water provided to us by the City Parks department, we collect and use over 6000 litres of rain water per growing season.

This rain water is collected in the three 1000 litre cubes located at the workshop and the upper shed.

Over the past 3 years, approximately 12,000 doggie bags have been donated by a local S.S. resident.

They are available at the south forest entrance close.

A sincere thank you to all who use the bags and pick up after their dogs.


In September of 2014, Mayor Naheed Nenshi toured the Gardens and was amazed at the accomplishments of a small but dedicated group of community volunteers.

               The Mayor stopping to chat with volunteers
                            and visitors to the Gardens

He was especially impressed by the Shakespeare Garden and the Labyrinth. He even took the time to walk the path and meditate!

Over 750 people, including Mayor Nenshi, have signed our guest book located at the Labyrinth.

This is what the Mayor wrote.


Did you know that we have the largest outdoor Labyrinth not only in Calgary but in all of Canada!

To complete the Labyrinth, volunteers laid 8000 donated bricks and another 1000 that were purchased.

If you pace the Labyrinth, you will have walked 1,270 feet – farther than the entire Wall Garden.

One of the most spectacular sights in the Gardens and BirthPlace Forest area is the Labyrinth in spring when the wild thyme is in bloom. This is something you do not want to miss.

To establish the wild thyme in the Labyrinth, 700 plugs were planted.

Over 200 people, including Alderman Dale Hodges, attended the Labyrinth's official opening on  August 24, 2013.


The Gardens and BP Forest have become extremely popular with school groups on Field trips.

W. O Mitchell students learning about nature in the Shakespeare Garden.

At least six different schools have conducted field trips to the Gardens.

Visitors of all ages take the time to enjoy the Gardens.


Six seniors’ homes have brought their residents - by bus - to tour our flowers, fields and forest. Countless walking and hiking groups have also visited.



The oldest person to ever visit the Gardens is Centenarian Hugh from from the Garrison Green Lodge for Seniors

Hugh accompanied by his 94 year old wife Kay.

For the convenience and comfort of visitors we now have two picnic tables and 20 benches all of which have been donated and placed throughout the forest and garden areas.

Check back often for more amazing facts about the Silver Springs Botanical Gardens and BirthPlace Forest!

We will add to this page as new amazing facts come to mind.