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               Botanical Gardens enters new chapter in history


As of November 2013, the Botanical Gardens volunteer group are officially a Province of Alberta registered “Society.”

The first annual general meeting of the newly formed Silver Springs Botanical Gardens Society was held on January 15, 2014 at the Silver Springs Community Centre.



At that time, it was determined that the following volunteers would serve as the Board of Directors:

President                Duncan Badger
Treasurer               Jannette Daley
Secretary                Laurel Caddel
Member-at-Large   Tom Mayhew
Member-at-Large   Gail Fitzmartyn

This group will meet 2 to 3 times a year to plan and outline objectives for the future.

        Why form a Society?

Over the past 7 years, the Gardens project has evolved to such an extent that it became clear we needed to form a registered society if we were to continue and to grow.

Last year, in our strategic review of operations, we determined that we needed to work more closely with the Calgary Parks Department.

We learned that to continue to maintain and develop the Gardens, it would also be necessary to obtain from the Calgary Community and Neighbourhood Services Department a long term License of Occupation for the park lands. As a registered Society, this process would be possible.

 

Furthermore, as a Society, we are now eligible for additional funding opportunities through the Provincial Government. This will replace the funding we lost with the cancellation of the Community Spirit Grant program which partially matched individual donations to the Gardens.

What next for the Gardens?

We are extremely proud of and pleased with the extensive garden areas and paths that we have created. The Silver Springs Botanical Gardens have become a favoured destination for visitors from within the community, the city and yes – even the world.  

Our strategy going forward will be to maintain and improve the quality of the areas already developed. What this means is that for now, we do not plan on creating any new garden areas. We will instead be focusing on hardscaping and upgrading already existing areas to make them more viable and attractive.


We want your input!

From the start, the Gardens have been developed by community volunteers and have always been envisaged as a community project. As such, this spring, we will set up a suggestions or comments box which people can use to provide us with input.
 

If you build it, they will come

The Gardens are being visited by increasingly more individuals, groups, and classes. We continue to receive numerous requests for tours and for wedding photo shoots and ceremonies. We view this interest as confirmation and appreciation of the value of our project.

We want more people to come and enjoy the beauty and the peace of the Gardens. As such, in 2014, we are planning more open house days similar to the 2013 Labyrinth official opening.

When you consider what this area looked like 5 and 10 years ago, we hope that you agree that what the volunteers have accomplished is fantastic.

The challenge now is to continue the momentum. We are confident that our current strategic direction will achieve that. We look forward to an early spring and the start of the new gardening season.

   Duncan Badger
       President of the Silver Springs
             Botanical Gardens Society