Favourite local outdoor gathering place

Keeley Braunstein-Black

1. The Forks

2. Munson Park

3. Assiniboine Park

Assiniboine Park is full of winding trails, green spaces and gardens that bring visitors together for picnics, sports, live entertainment or beverages at Cargo Bar.

Its newest attraction, The Leaf, is a natural oasis for thousands of trees, shrubs, flowers and fruits flourishing in four indoor biomes.

With its jungle-like feel, The Leaf is “a place where people from all cultures and all walks of life can find common ground, rooted in our universal connection with nature,” Margaret Redmond, the Assiniboine Park Conservancy president and CEO, said in a news release.

The four biomes include the Hartley and Heather Richardson Tropical Biome, Mediterranean Biome, Babs Asper Display House and the Shirley Richardson Butterfly Garden.

The Babs Asper Display House changes its floral displays every season. This winter features Celebration, a mix of poplars, dogwoods, lush ferns and fresh-cut black hills spruce trees with shimmering ornaments.

The display showcases traditions, customs and festivities from across the world, “emphasizing the importance of unity and togetherness during this joyous time of year.”

The Holidays at the Park zone will celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s, Kwanzaa and the Winter Solstice. The Whimsical Woods display will have star-themed topiaries and a miniature village.

The Mediterranean biome has a holiday tree made of succulents, and the Hartley and Heather Richardson Tropical Biome has a tree made of bromeliads and ferns.

This humid biome is home to exotic plants, birdsong, a koi pond and Canada’s tallest indoor waterfall – a place visitors flock to in the winter months to escape the cold and watch 17 different species of butterflies in the garden.

Published in Volume 78, Number 12 of The Uniter (November 30, 2023)

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