Construction of Aga Khan Garden reaches halfway mark
The $25-million garden will be the most northerly Islamic garden in the world
It will be the most northerly Islamic garden in the world.
On Wednesday, media were given a sneak peek at the Aga Khan Garden at the University of Alberta Botanic Garden near Devon.
The 5½-hectare garden, which will hold more than 20,000 plants, is now halfway to completion.
The project was funded by a $25-million gift from the Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the world's 15 million Ismaili Muslims, including 6,000 in Edmonton.
"The goal is to create a 21st-century Islamic garden that feels at home in Edmonton," said Nathan Foley, architect with Nelson Byrd Wolz, the U.S. architects designing the garden.
"The vast majority of the plants going into the garden are native or regional plants, which is really important for us telling the story of this place and this garden and highlighting the local flora," he said.
"This has taken years of design and engineering," said Lee Foote, director of the U of A's botanic garden.
The garden is a gift to all Canadians, Foote said. He expects the addition of the garden will more than double attendance at the 240-acre University of Alberta Botanic Garden in two years.
The project is expected to be completed by July 2018.