People living near Ottawa's newly renovated Museum of Nature are angry over a plan to turn former parkland into a parking lot.

The museum says it needs at least part of its "West Lawn" to accommodate the growing number of visitors.

The lawn was used as a staging area during construction and is now an automated, public parking lot.

While there is a plan to restore some greenspace, neighbours said it's not what they were promised.

"They were all promised a park," said Roshell Bisset, who lives in the neighbourhood.

"That promise should be honoured, and that this is something that would make it much more liveable, and would keep the people living here."

Area councillor Diane Holmes called the situation ironic.

"It's pretty sad that in the nation's capital, we have a museum that was in a parkland, that's a natural museum, and it's now going to be surrounded by asphalt parking lots."

Meg Beckel, the museum's president and CEO, said engineers are working on a plan to maximize greenspace, but said the museum needs another 150 parking spots to deal with the growing number of visitors.

"There was a hope that underground parking on the west lawn would be financially feasible," said Beckel. "It is not financially feasible. So we have to look at other options."

Beckell says work to maximize the green space could begin next fall, giving the neighbourhood part of their West Lawn back.