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  • Fall comes to the gardens.
    Still lots to see as the temperatures cool!
  • Amazing Aerial Footage!
    See the wetlands throughout the year from the air! See aerial footage on YouTube!
  • The Greenhouse Sales are back!
    New this week - hardy lily bulbs!
  • Greenhouse Sale takes the summer off.
    Check back in September for more great sales!


Research takes many forms in the Botanic Gardens and Constructed Wetlands, and allows the College to partner and collaborate with many groups and organizations involved with horticulture, land and water management, and related fields.

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The Constructed Wetlands are located in the newest phase of the Botanic Gardens. The Olds College Centre for Innovation (OCCI) is the scientifically acclaimed applied research arm of Olds College. OCCI is committed to furthering the investigation of applying combinations of wetland polishing and desalinization treatments for municipal grey, agricultural, and saline wastewater, producing quality water for domestic, agricultural and industrial uses. These processes will help reduce the negative impact on our environment and the ever-increasing demand on our diminishing supply of clean water.

The 19 ponds will serve to remove sediments and undesirable nutrients from the water, and these functions will be monitored.  Besides the information collected through the study and use of run-off from the college campus, we will be seeking out research projects to undertake in partnership with industry.    

For more information on this project, visit the OCCI website or phone Ruth Elvestad, Project Technician, at 403-556-4683.



The Olds College School of Environment, with funding from the Alberta Professional Horticulture Growers Congress and Foundation Society (APHGCFS) and the Alberta Farm Fresh Producers Association (AFFPA) has established a demonstration fruit orchard on campus. Generous donations from members of the Alberta Farm Fresh Producers Association, in particular, Arden and Dave Delidais of DNA Gardens, contributed a substantial amount of plant material which allowed us to get the orchard ready for teaching, research and industry training in 2009.

The orchard covers 0.25ha just east of the Land Sciences Building at the north end of the Olds College campus. The orchard is maintained in the summer by a College service worker assisted by summer students funded by the APHGCFS grant. A full Plant List is available, or you can view the Planting Plan, both for 2012. 

The Fruit Orchard is not accessible from the Botanic Gardens.  For more information and to arrange a tour, please send a message to our main e-mail address



Olds College has been working with the Alberta Regional Lily Society (ARLS) since 2008.  Over this time, dozens of lilies have been trialed and information collected on emergence dates, height, bloom time, bud and flower count and other criteria.  Comparison was done on planting depth, use of mulch and the depth of mulch used.  This information has been evaluated and the results put into articles which can be found on our website (Coming soon!!).

The Botanic Gardens has also worked with the ARLS to establish lily display beds in the Central Gardens.  To learn more please see the pages on the Alberta Bred Lily Collection, and the Lily Collection featuring species and other hybrids.




The Community Learning Campus' Core High School and Health and Wellness Centre, along with the Fine Arts and Multimedia Centre were host to several test plots designed to investigate the viability of specific green roof plant varieties.

A green roof lasts two to three times as long as a conventional roof, dampens sounds within a building, reduces inside and outside ambient temperatures during summer months and filters the surrounding air. It also manages storm water runoff, filters water and supports food production and biodiversity.

 Significant headway has been made in the development of roofing membrane systems for green roofs but research is ongoing in the areas of plant material and growing media, which is where Olds College and the School of Environment came into play. 

Some of the plants tested included kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca), and hens and chicks (Sempervivum tectorum).  The project was overseen by Gord Koch with the assistance of Kim Wickwire, instructors in the Horticulture Program.  It was funded by the Olds College Center of Innovation and Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.  Plants were tested in two growing media compositions at different depths.  The sites had wireless transmission solar powered weather stations that recorded temperature, wind speed, relative humidity, precipitation and evapotranspiration.  Green roof technology is being taught at the diploma and applied degree level to landscape management students.  This project came to an end and was dis-assembled in the summer of 2016.  For more information on the results please e-mail us at