July 15, 2014

Fairfield Gardens

Henry Janzen (Soil Scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) shares the tale of William Fairfield, the first Superintendent of the “Experimental Farm in Lethbridge”, now known as the Dominion Experimental Farm. The story is embodied by the magnificent 100+ year old Fairfield Poplar, which was collected as a seedling from the Oldman River Valley and nurtured by William himself, and now “stands as an enduring, evolving symbol of landscapes transformed… and far-sighted vision.”

Fairfield Gardens also encompasses the heritage forest planted under Dr. Fairfield’s direction in the early 1900s, now a unique historical site in the prairies. These ornamental gardens are located near the original home site of Dr. W. H. Fairfield. In addition to his many professional accomplishments, Dr. Fairfield was well known for his interest in the beautification of prairie homes with flowers and his commitment to tree planting throughout the district.

“What do we want our land to look like 20 years from now, 50 years from now, 100 years from now? That really is the essence of ‘resilience’, I think. Foresight. Resilience is not just a matter of keeping things the same. Ecologists say ‘resilience’ is imbuing in the land the capacity to keep furnishing the demands imposed upon it by future tenants thereof.”