The route is not completely accessible for everyone, although the terrain is relatively level. The walk follows major multi-user pathways, and the terrain is fairly level. However, parts of the tour may be challenging for wheelchairs.
The Central Experimental Farm has been located "in the vicinity of the seat of government" since its establishment in 1886. Although it was a short distance outside the edge of town at that time, in the years since the City of Ottawa has grown to meet and surround the Farm. This has led to a series of threats to the invaluable agricultural science work at the Farm dating back to at least 1920.
This walk explores the question "Can City and Farm Co-Exist?" through an exploration of past and ongoing scientific work at the Farm, uncovering scientific landscapes within the Farm's beautiful pastoral scenes, and with reference to pressures that at one time or another threatened to derail the Farm's role as a research station, heritage site, and valuable green-space close to the heart of the city.
This walk is a forward-looking version of last year's walk "Science in/and the City." Those who attended last year are welcomed back as some of the content has been updated with a renewed focus on the threats faced at the Farm as well as new finds from Pete's research project.
We begin at Hartwell Locks before cutting through the Fletcher Wildlife Garden and down into the Arboretum. We head back up the hill to the viewing platform before cross Prince of Wales to survey the Ornamental Gardens and the experimental fields themselves. Finally, we will re-cross Prince of Wales and take the Agriculture Canada road back to the Locks.
Paid parking is available through Parks Canada at the locks, and free parking is available at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden. The starting/ending point is close to Carleton's O-Train station and main bus stop.
Pete is a PhD candidate at Queen's University where his research focuses on the early history of the Central Experimental Farm. He is a seminar leader for Ottawa (de)tours and a member of the Coalition to Protect the Central Experimental Farm.