Devonian Botanic Garden
The Devonian Botanic Garden is a place of dreams for plant lovers! Located close to Edmonton, it is the northern-most Botanic Garden in Canada. Although the Devonian has some exotic gardens, many gardens are dedicated to the flora of Alberta. The Patrick Seymour Alpine Garden, the Plants of Alberta and the Native People's Garden all make up a part of the 80-acres you can browse in the Devonian Garden. Not to mention the additional 110 acres you can enjoy through nature trails!
Research is an important component of the work done at the Devonian Botanic Gardens. But not all of the research is done by scientists - you can get involved and help researchers track the onset of spring by being a
Plantwatch is a phenology (study of the seasonal timing of life cycle events) program which links students and other observers as the "eyes of science," tracking the green wave of spring moving north. Observers monitor flowering of up to fifteen plants and report the bloom times to Plantwatch scientists over the Internet. Scientists are already seeing the effects of warmer winters and springs in western Canada and long term trends to earlier blooming. Gathering valuable seasonality information such as timing of spring flowering helps decision-making in many fields such as agriculture (when to plant, fertilize, etc.), wildlife management (more deer fawns are successful in earlier springs), human health (pollen alerts to allergy-sufferers) and tourism (when to enjoy wildflowers or go fly-fishing).
Plantwatch is fun and it is easy to participate! All you have to do is register yourself as a Plantwatch observer, decide what plant(s) to observe, figure out your plant location(s), and then take a stroll every few days in spring to record what your plant is doing. All the information you need to know about this program can be found on the
Plantwatch web site.
Registration and reporting is done online, and observers can view their data in tables and on maps. The web site has species descriptions of plants that can be reported on, and also includes distribution maps, illustrations, and color photos. By participating in Plantwatch, observers learn many of Alberta's native wildflowers and contribute to a greater understanding of how temperature and climate change affect the earliness of spring.
Contact the Devonian Botanic Garden:
University of Alberta
Canada T6G 2E1
Phone: (780) 987-3054
Fax: (780) 987-4141