Certain parts of this walk will cover unpaved paths and rough ground, and will be challenging for those with wheelchairs and scooters.
The walk begins in the Fletcher Wildlife Garden on the theme of modern conservation biology and re-wilding. We will then move on to the Arboretum's pond to talk about early experimental work on aquatic plants and attempts to create an urban market for waterfowl eggs before moving to the crab apple plantation to talk about the history of fruit breeding at the Farm.
Next we move up the hill to the view point to discuss the relationship between the scientific aesthetics of the late 19th Century and city planning in Ottawa. We cross the street to the ornamental gardens to reinforce the difference between the Canada Museum of Agriculture and Food and the Central Experimental Farm and talk about Isabella Preston and the place of myth-making. The walk goes through the experimental fields where we'll talk about Marquis wheat and present day uses at the Farm. This also gives an opportunity to talk about past and present development pressures on the farm property.
The tour purposefully jumps back and forth between different time periods, showing off the diversity of landscapes, land uses, and scientific projects at the Central Experimental Farm as well as their relationship to the history of Ottawa and Canada.
Meet in the parking area of the Fletcher Wildlife Garden, located on the east side of Prince of Wales Drive, south of the traffic circle. The driveway doesn't show on the map until the scale is highly magnified. The entrance to the garden is marked on Prince of Wales Dr. by a white sign with green lettering, visible from either direction.
The walk loops through the Fletcher Wildlife Garden, Dominion Arboretum, Ornamental Gardens, and experimental fields. Note that these areas are accessible on foot or bike along the Rideau Canal for people to stroll or cycle through on a casual visit at any time.
We will end at Hartwell Locks, close to transit at Carleton and the Parks Canada parking lot.
Pete is a PhD candidate at Queen's University, where his research focuses on the early history of the Central Experimental Farm. He is also a member of the Coalition to Protect the Central Experimental Farm.
Visit the Coalition's Facebook page here: www.facebook.com/protectthefarm.