Annual Report to the Community 2022
A community gathering space, destination park and botanical gardens featuring plants that grow in our particular climate.
To contribute to a welcoming outdoor space through unique gardens and forests that inspire, educate, and provide enjoyment for all within a multi-use environment
2022 has been a very productive and engaging year for the Botanical Gardens. Our increased use of the gardens has continued, even with the end of COVID restrictions. The park is enjoyed daily by hundreds of people, particularly on the warm and pleasant days which have been plentiful this year. The Gardens attracts people who love gardening, artists, dog owners and people who just like a walk in the park with a beautiful setting.
Our volunteers have continued to step up and make things happen in the gardens. This year our volunteer hours will be close to the record 9000 volunteer hours that we had last year. Our volunteers are very energetic and committed to the garden. This year they added many activities to the garden. We are so thankful for the energy and commitment of these individuals, some 60 strong.
2022 was the Year of the Garden in Canada. The Botanical Gardens of Silver Springs took it to heart and planned for 8 separate events throughout the year. Because we have live gardens to demonstrate the breadth of plant life that thrives in Calgary, we were able to partner with several organizations to provide an educational or demonstration sessions on a variety of plant types. These included: Crevice, Alpine and Native plants in partnership with the Calgary Rock and Alpine Garden Society; Peonies with the Alberta Peony Society; and two sessions on roses, Spring Blooming roses and Canadian Bred roses with the Calgary Rose Society. In the fall we partnered with Urban Forestry of the City of Calgary to present a session on trees that grow well here. Blue Grass Nurseries partnered with us on a session on Winter interest in the garden. These gave visitors an opportunity to have fun, learn and ask questions about gardening in Calgary.
We now have 20 different gardens to enjoy. This year we added the entrance garden located at the main entrance to the park. As well, we formally opened the Heart Garden which is a focus for the Heartbeats Society to support the needs for the families impacted by congenital heart disease for a place of peace. (We were fortunate to have over 150 people at the opening and the Mayor of Calgary, Jyoti Gondek participated). We also opened the Prairie Celebration Rose Garden which contains many of the roses developed for the Canadian prairies from the 1920’s through the 2010’s. We have taken opportunities to run educational support classes for a variety of local schools and societies.
Because of the beauty of the gardens many other activities occur here for multiple groups. 2022 saw the first live music concert done by a local group, Jazzniks. We also have multiple arts groups using the park for their outdoor live sketch session. We continue with Yoga in the park in partnership with the local YWCA. We repeated our highly successful winter fun craft where our registrants took home rustic crafter deer heads for Christmas Décor. Of special note, Silver Springs Community won the Battle of the Burbs. Our garden was a significant factor in the win. During the celebration, our garden was visited by the CBC and our local Counsellor. On other occasions Sonya Sharpe, the local counsellor and Jason Copping, our MLA have visited the garden to appreciate the strong commitment to Community that exists here. This December we will again decorate for Christmas and a wonderland walk in the park.
Thank you for your ongoing support. We will continue to plan gardens and activities of interest to the community.
About usThe Botanical Gardens of Silver Springs, Calgary, Alberta is indeed a ‘hidden gem’ – a one-of-a kind very unique garden!
It is open to the public year round from dawn to dusk and is situated within a Birthplace Forest covering several acres of land. Within this area there are over eighteen individual gardens each displaying unique features and all identified with a hand-painted garden sign. These garden areas are all accessible by connecting walking paths of mulch leading throughout the entire area. Along these pathways leading to the various gardens are beautiful flowering shrubs, fruit trees and also a large variety of other featured shrubs and trees.
Main Garden Areas
Oval Garden, Sunflower Garden, Border Garden, Half Moon Garden, Wall Garden, Swan Garden, Eagle Garden, Owl Garden, Lo H20, Alpine Crevice and Native Plant Gardens, Old Post Garden, Shade Garden, Peony Garden, Heart Garden and Prairie Rose Celebration Garden.
Featured Specialty Gardens and AreasShakespeare and Herb Garden, Crevice Rock and Alpine Garden, the Labyrinth, Rose Bowl, Fruit Grove Garden and the Oak Grove Picnic area.
This garden project began over ten years ago now and is designed, developed, maintained and managed entirely by a volunteer group. As a not-for-profit Charitable Society, the Gardens have been developed from the onset with the continued support from the City of Calgary Parks Department and the Silver Springs Community Association. It is through donations from individuals, corporations, and provincial grants that it continues to thrive and has become a focal point of our Community and indeed within the City of Calgary and beyond.Walking Tour brochures and donation boxes are conveniently located at both the Labyrinth and the Shakespeare Garden areas.
To create a welcoming park and beautiful gardens that are open for all to enjoy and learn through:
VisionA destination park and botanical gardens featuring plants that grow in Calgary's unique climate.
For anyone who has spent time in the gardens, it is hard to believe that they have only been here since 2006 when a humble ornamental garden (400 square feet) was developed within the existing BirthPlace Forest (BPF) tree beds.
The BPF, by the way, saw 7000 trees planted in the area. The project was accomplished through a partnership of BP Energy, Calgary Parks, Regional Health and Golden Acres.
In the following year, 2007, the Oval Garden was developed with the participation of Calgary Parks. This ornamental garden is about 3200 square feet. At the same time, the Wall Garden got its humble start when William Morf, a resident whose property backed onto the noise barrier got the idea to develop about a hundred feet of garden along the wall.
This “little” idea eventually blossomed into the current 1300 foot long spectacular Wall Garden.
Since then, a registered charitable society has been formed, whose directors not only oversee the development of many new gardens and expanded beds but continue to do much of the work – joined of course by the tireless and dedicated volunteers.
It should be noted that the total number of accumulated volunteer hours that have gone into the Botanical Gardens of Silver Springs is verging on being astronomical.
And the work continues.
And you thought Roses were difficult to grow in Calgary.
The Botanical Gardens of Silver Springs: Rose gardens are being highlighted in the gardens this year. We have collected many rose varieties over the years and are now over 130 different cultivars. The Garden was started in 2003 and the first rose garden began in 2009 with preparation of the first half of the Rose Bowl. Twenty-five cultivars were in place by the end of 2010. The second half of the rose garden was prepared in 2012. As well several Heritage Roses were planted at this time in what is now the LoH2O garden. By 2017, the collection of roses within the Botanical gardens had risen to over 80.
The goal of the Botanical Gardens Rose Group is to ‘Collect and preserve hardy and Canadian Heritage Roses’ and to Demonstrate the breadth of roses that can be grown in Calgary without winter protection’ The botanical gardens has partnered with the Calgary Rose Society, Canadian Heritage Rose Experts and other rose and botanical groups to further these aims.
For several years now we have been identifying, mapping, and locating the many roses within the garden. In 2018 there were 220 plant representing 90 different cultivars. At present we have 130 cultivars and hundreds of plants spread throughout the gardens. Roses that are hardy in Southern Alberta are bred for zone 2 or 3. We currently have cultivars of the following hardy series: Explorer (24),Parkland (14), Prairie (10), Pavement (5), 49th Parallel (2) and Canadian Artist(5). Many of these varieties were developed by Agriculture Canada. We also have several Bugnet roses (4) which are notable for being bred in Alberta. Most of our Old Roses and Canadian Heritage Roses have been donated to us and cannot be readily obtained commercially. We currently have more than 20 different cultivars. The intent of these donations is to increase the geographic distribution and secure locations for these rare species. It also involves a commitment to maintain these collections. All Old Roses were developed prior to 1867.
Roses can be found throughout the garden but there are concentrations of roses in the Rose Bowl, LoH2O garden, Shakespeare garden, Oval garden, and the new forest edge. All the collection is maintained in our database, but it is not yet public. We are also currently developing methods to maintain specific roses to protect the genetics and to trade with other rose growers for specific roses to add to our collections. The richness of the rose collection that is hardy in Northwest Calgary is extensive. We are especially thankful for our volunteers for their hard work in developing the database and maintaining the rose collection. On any day, especially in the morning you will see our volunteers in the gardens. Stop and chat and ask questions (maintaining appropriate distancing of course). We love to talk about our gardens and the work that we do. Our garden is free to the public. We accept donations. We currently have an opportunity for you to support our garden through an engraved brick program. These bricks will be put in the entrance of the garden this year. See our website (donations) or pick one up at the kiosk. The Botanical Gardens of Silver Springs is located in the community of Silver Springs within the Birthplace Forest in the North East corner of Silver Springs. The main entrance is beside the ball diamond and a second entrance is near the LDS church. The garden extends over 1.5 kilometers and has mulch paths with small areas of bricked paths. A kiosk at the main entrance or the north entrance provides maps of the garden and photos of the flowers in bloom when you visit.
Several short years ago, if you walked down the areas where the current Botanical Gardens are now flourishing, you could not help but see that for the most part, there was nothing but stretches of grassland overrun with weeds, rocks, dandelions and dirt. Not the greatest environment for flower gardens.
Well they are, thanks to the tireless efforts of a core group of 30 volunteers who spend three mornings a week from May to October doing what needs to be done to keep the gardens healthy and beautiful. Some exceptionally dedicated volunteers work far more than three mornings a week.
Volunteers are always needed and welcome - and you do not have to have a green thumb or special skills. All that is required is the willingness to be part of a project dedicated to making our world a little greener and more beautiful.
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.
Gardens of the world
From Crowfoot LRT station: Bus 120
From Dalhousie LRT station: Bus 120 or Bus 134
- (North end of park) Get off on Silver Springs DR NW @ Silver Springs CR NW
- (South end of park) Get off on Silver Springs DR NW @ Silver Brook DR NW
- Get off on Silver Ridge DR NW @ Silver Springs BV NW
Please fill out the form to:
Friends of the Gardens
Partners, Sponsors and Donors
The Botanical Gardens of Silver Springs are grateful to our many "Friends of the Gardens" for their generous sponsorship and support.
The ongoing generosity and kindness of our many individual donors and sponsors have enabled us to make the gardens blossom and grow.
Sponsorship program: 💁
We would like to especially recognize the following Sponsors for their support.
We encourage fans of and visitors to the Gardens to show their gratitude to these sponsors by letting them know that their contributions are appreciated.
Thank you to the following for their substantial contributions of donations, materials and services:
Become a Corporate Sponsor
Recognition includes listing in the Silver Springs Community Association newsletter and on-site posting on sponsor board.
For more information, contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Gardens appreciate any and all donations given.
Our continued success is due to the generosity of the community, corporations and individuals.
Everyone is encouraged to donate whatever they can.
Charitable tax donation receipts are issued by the Silver Springs Botanical Gardens Society.
Please email email@example.com with an indication of your donation. This helps us to ensure that we collect your kind donation in a timely manner.
Cheques should be made payable to:
Botanical Gardens of Silver Springs Society.
Completed printable forms with the cheques or cash should be dropped off at:
The Silver Springs Community Association clearly marked for the Botanical Gardens. The address is 5720 Silver Ridge Drive NW, Calgary, T3B 5E5
Interac e-Transfer is a secure way to donate directly from your bank account to BGSS. You can use your bank's E-Transfer function to donate which is a great alternative to cheques and cash.
If you wish to donate via Interac e-Transfer, please do the
* Go to your online banking site and click on the link for sending an Interac e-Transfer. Add “BGSS” as a new recipient. E-Transfer your donations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get a donation receipt, please submit your request by emailing: email@example.com. Please submit your full name, address, phone number and indicate a date and the amount of your donation.
Tax receipts will be issued for any donations of $25 or more.
Charitable organization: #821268372RR0001.
Please email us to obtain your tax receipt at: