A $1.05 million gift from the Franklinia Foundation will nearly double the size of the UBC Botanical Garden’s Asian Garden, and provide additional educational and training opportunities to future horticulturalists and researchers.
“The UBC Botanical Garden is a wonderful space that connects visitors and community members to the University,” said UBC Interim President Martha Piper. “We are grateful to the Franklinia Foundation for its generous support so that visitors may continue to experience and learn from the garden for years to come.”
Now in its 100th year like UBC, the Botanical Garden established its David C. Lam Asian Garden in 1968. Today it houses an extensive collection of temperate zone Asian plants. The new funding will help upgrade and expand the Asian Garden irrigation system, allowing the garden to almost double in size over the next 30 years. It also provides funding for international internships in the Asian Garden, allows Botanical Garden horticulturalists to travel for research and to collect new specimens, creates an online geo-referenced database of plants in the collection, and provides funding for a curatorial assistant.
“We are grateful to the Franklinia Foundation for supporting the David C. Lam Asian Garden and for giving us an opportunity to expand an already remarkable collection,” said Douglas Justice, associate director of horticulture and collections at UBC Botanical Garden. “Their support allows us to showcase the beauty of this garden with our visitors, expand our own knowledge of Asian plants, and share the lessons we’ve learned here in Vancouver with others.”
The Franklinia Foundation was founded in 2005 and is active in defense of nature, especially the conservation of threatened trees worldwide. The foundation has supported UBC Botanical Garden for more than 10 years. Based in Europe, the Franklinia Foundation has provided funding for staff to travel to Asia to study plants, give presentations, and collect seed and plants in the wild to add to the garden’s collection. This year, the Foundation significantly increased its support for UBC Botanical Garden.
“UBC Botanical Garden is one of the Western world’s most important temperate collections,” said Philippe de Spoelberch, president of the Franklinia Foundation. “The David C. Lam Asian Garden is a very special garden and of world importance particularly in its ex situ conservation objectives; we are pleased to provide support for its continued preservation and expansion.”