The Milner Gardens & Woodland is celebrating its 20th anniversary of being open to the public. 

The park is a 28 hectare plot of land that was donated to the Vancouver Island University in 1996. It’s been open to the public since May 2001.

The university uses it as a way to help students solidify their understanding of what they’re learning in school.

Locals and tourists know it better as one of the best attractions in the Parksville and Qualicum Beach area.

It hosts various different programs that help anyone who wants to join learn more about nature, such as the food garden located within the park’s vast landscape.

Other programs and operations include;

  • Show Your Roots – A program designed to teach elementary school children about the nature around them, and to foster appreciation for it.
  • Greig Rhododendron Species Garden – Said to be the ‘only garden of its kind in Canada’, it holds over 200 different Rhododendron flowers.
  • Gardening Advice – A service that’s run in partnership with the Vancouver Island Master Gardeners Association that helps give tips on gardening 
  • The Coastal Forest Plant Phenology Research and Monitoring Project – A public program that allows for volunteers to observe how climate change affects plants
  • Milner Christmas Magic – A christmas-related gathering for fun, where VIU visual arts students show off their art, and baking students create gingerbread houses
  • Annual spring and fall plant sales

Future plans for programs include one that will help people ‘learn more about the historical uses of the site by First Nations’.

Last year, a lot of the events and programs had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.