From the ground up: Donor-funded garden blooms

The Aga Khan Garden, Alberta, creates a natural setting for retreat, reflection and cross-cultural dialogue

Niall McKenna - 28 June 2018

Opening in June 2018, the spectacular new Aga Khan Garden, Alberta, will draw people from all backgrounds together in the largest Islamic-inspired garden in North America - an environment where cultural acceptance and understanding take root.

Located at the heart of the University of Alberta Botanic Garden near Devon, Alta., the Aga Khan Garden, Alberta embraces the local climate and landscape and forges a connection between contemporary Alberta and the traditional Islamic world. People from around the world will come to retreat, gather and celebrate.

4.8: Size in hectares of Aga Khan Garden, Alberta, equivalent to 31 NHL-size hockey rinks, the largest Islamic-inspired garden in North America

26,000: Perennials, wetland plants, shrubs and trees featured in the Aga Khan Garden, Alberta

160,000: Annual attendance expected at the U of A Botanic Garden, as the Aga Khan Garden, Alberta attracts people to the region from near and far, doubling the current attendance

17,000: School children who visit the U of A Botanic Garden each year. New interpretive programming will enhance visitors' understanding of Islamic traditions, music, sound and poetry.

Islamic gardens feature paved surfaces and geometric design that contrast with the natural world and explore human creativity. Visitors to the new garden will encounter forest paths, orchards and reflective pools. In the central courtyard, a fountain system will flow over terraces and past sunken gardens and plants that change colour with the seasons.

The garden is a gift to Albertans from His Highness the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslim community. His Highness has stated: "The garden is a central element in Muslim culture, a symbol of a spiritual ideal - a place where human creativity and divine majesty are fused, where the ingenuity of humanity and the beauty of nature are productively connected."

Learn more about the Aga Khan Garden, Alberta

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