In the Community
In 1916, the closure of the Office of the Provincial Botanist led to the relocation of thousands of plants and shrubs. John Davidson, BC’s first provincial botanist and director of the Garden, Mary Jane Gruchy, I. Van der Bom, and James A. Wattie hauled thousands of plants and shrubs on a 40-kilometre trip from the original Essondale location of the botanical garden in a truck on rough roads to UBC’s Point Grey campus. At the time, the Point Grey campus only had three buildings, with classes taking place in the Fairview neighbourhood where Vancouver General Hospital now stands. From his office on Pender Street in Vancouver, Davidson began his work.
In the mid 1980s and in partnership with Agriculture Canada (today called Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada), UBC Botanical Garden explored British Columbia helping to make comprehensive collections of Fragaria chiloensis (the beach strawberry) for breeding work. The resulting germplasm (genetic resources) was, and continues to be, used to develop new cultivars of strawberries with pathogen resistance for industry.