A Student Guide to UBC Botanical Garden

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by Matias Taylor

This fall, try a bit of nature in between classes.

The academic term in Vancouver starts the first week of September for most students, and the usual excitement around seeing old friends, meeting new ones, and getting back into the swing of university life abounds. In between opening new textbooks and catching up on summer adventures, students can claim an unlikely haven nestled in the southwest corner of UBC’s Point Grey campus: UBC Botanical Garden. Not only is this 110-acre garden a world-renown centre for plant research (which makes it a must-visit for any forestry or botany student!), but a beautiful, relaxing environment with its fair share of heart-pumping adventure. Let us guide you through a few of the reasons why the Garden is a treat for students:

Budget-Friendly
UBC students get free admission to UBC Botanical Garden and Nitobe Memorial Garden, while non-UBC students get a reduced admission fee. Don’t forget to bring your student ID!

Close to Home
Nitobe Memorial Garden, with its manicured Japanese flora, wooden bridge, and traditional stone lamps, is an iconic attraction at UBC and, best of all, it’s literally right next to Place Vanier, which many incoming students will be calling home. It’s the perfect place to relax and de-stress after a day of classes.

Nitobe Memorial Garden

UBC Botanical Garden itself, meanwhile, is close to the cluster of residence compounds in the southwest end of campus, including Thunderbird, Marine Drive, Totem Park, and Orchard Commons. You could be strolling through a forest and surrounded by exotic plants with just a five-minute walk!

The Asian Garden within UBC Botanical Garden

Tours
Finished the day of classes early and want to do something unique for the rest of the day? Drop by for a tour—they happen daily at the Garden and Greenheart TreeWalk.

Volunteer Opportunities
The Garden provides volunteering opportunities throughout the year, including spots at the annual Apple Festival, which attracts over 15,000 people every year! Other opportunities include volunteering as a garden guide, greeter, and in outreach, event support, and workshops. All these positions provide the chance to interact with and learn from horticulture, botany, and education experts.

Student volunteers at the annual Apple Fest

Adventure Time
Greenheart TreeWalk is a hidden gem at UBC, with more than 310 metres of suspended canopy walkways that take you over 20 metres off the forest ground. Experience the sights and sounds of the forest while navigating the thrilling aerial trail system—it’s one of the most exciting things you can do at UBC! (not to mention the selfie opportunities)

Greenheart TreeWalk is open every day until October 31

UBC Botanical Garden is located at 6804 SW Marine Drive and is open 9:30 am – 4:30 pm every day, while Nitobe Memorial Garden is located 1895 Lower Mall and is open 11:00 am – 4:30 pm daily until October 31 (when hours change to 2:00 pm closing time).