May 27, 2010
EDMUNDSTON (CNB) - The provincial government is investing $975,630 in infrastructure improvements at the New Brunswick Botanical Garden in Edmundston (Saint-Jacques).
Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault announced the contribution on Wednesday, May 26. He was joined by Tourism and Parks Minister Brian Kenny and Jean Aucoin, president and executive director, New Brunswick Botanical Garden.
"Improving the visitor experience by investing in iconic tourist infrastructure is one of the objectives set out in the Action Plan for Self-Sufficiency in Northern New Brunswick," said Arseneault, who is also the minister responsible for the Northern New Brunswick Initiative.
Funding through the Regional Development Corporation will enable the botanical garden to create two new gardens (a medicinal plant garden and a celestial garden); to improve the visitor centre; to build a new, multi-purpose pavilion; and to improve the thematic gardens.
"The botanical garden is a real jewel in the long list of tourist experiences in New Brunswick available to residents of the province and to visitors," said Tourism and Parks Minister Brian Kenny. "Our government recognizes the importance of this attraction and the importance of the industry as a whole, and that is why we are very proud to support the botanical garden in its ongoing efforts to improve its facilities."
Aucoin said the improvements will enable the botanical garden to play its role more effectively and to attract more visitors.
"We are determined to develop this magnificent garden to the utmost and make it one of the most dynamic botanical gardens in eastern Canada," he said. "We hope that the innovative projects we are proposing will interest young and old alike."
Located near the Quebec border, the botanical garden is open from early May to mid-October. Covering more than eight hectares, it boasts seven thematic gardens, two arboretums and more than 3,000 plant species. Its mission is fourfold: conservation, tourism, education and scientific research.
The botanical garden employs three persons full-time and around 22 seasonal workers and students. During the last three years, the botanical garden has averaged 13,783 visitors each season. Those visitors come from New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario and the eastern United States.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Bruce Macfarlane, Regional Development Corporation, 506-444-4606; Jean Aucoin, president and executive director, New Brunswick Botanical Garden, 506-737-4442.