Through its efforts in communication, conservation, research and education, the Botanical Garden, like the three other museums that make up the Space for Life – the Biodôme, Insectarium, and Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium – guides humans to better experience nature.
Conservation, research, education and communication at the Montréal Botanical Garden
Since its founding in 1931 by Brother Marie-Victorin, the mission statement of the Montréal Botanical Garden is to:
- conserve, develop, and present to the public living plant collections,
- pursue research activities,
- and educate Montréal citizens and all visitors in botany and horticulture.
To reach its objectives, the Montréal Botanical Garden has pursued four vocations:
As a cultural institution
The Garden takes visitors on a voyage through the plant world, inviting them to explore the various outside gardens and the exhibition greenhouses, and to discover different cultures, including those of China and Japan.
As an educational institution
The Garden is a unique training ground, with numerous educational activities. Graduates of the Montréal Botanical Garden School of Horticulture receive thorough grounding in general horticulture work and in different aspects of ornamental horticulture. The Young Gardeners' Own program introduces young people to the joys of gardening and the wonders of the natural sciences. A number of educational organizations, including the Friends of the Garden, Les Amis du Jardin, offer their members various science-related activities. In addition, the Garden's library boasts an impressive collection of botanical and horticultural publications, along with a slide library housing a vast assortment of photographs of plants and the Botanical Garden itself.
As a social institution
The Garden is an integral part of the urban fabric of Montréal. It serves as the city's environmental conscience, promoting tree planting policies, the preservation of natural environments and public awareness. Over the years, it has fostered a special relationship with the people of Montréal and lends the community invaluable expertise and support in the design of plans to beautify the urban landscape and develop and manage green spaces.
As a scientific institution
The Garden houses living plant collections, maintained by a highly specialized horticultural staff, assisted by qualified botanists. The Garden serves as a ground for taxonomy, morphology, plant physiology, genetics, ecology and biotechnology, conducted by the team of botanists at the Garden along with professors and researchers from the Institut de recherche en biologie végétale of the Université de Montréal, affiliated with the Garden. The research efforts have produced leading-edge expertise applied to planting and caring for trees in the urban environment, and to developing a waste water filtration and treatment system using aquatic plants.