McMaster University recognizes that the University and surrounding Hamilton area, including their nature spaces, are situated on traditional territories shared between the Haudenosaunee confederacy and Anishnaabe nations. These lands are protected by the Dish with One Spoon Wampum belt. The wampum uses the symbolism of a dish to represent the territory, and one spoon to represent that the people are to share the resources of the land and only take what they need.
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Royal Botanical Gardens

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Formally dubbed by King George V in 1930, today, the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) is a 2,422-acre vast nature reserve, owning land in both Hamilton and Burlington. The goal of the RBG is to protect and preserve the unique ecosystems present in this region while making such spaces available and accessible to guests and those who live and play in the Hamilton-Burlington community. Despite being one of the leading tourist attractions between Niagara Falls and Toronto, the RBG is a focal point for the ‘Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.’ Under this position, the RGB is recognized for its work and research in local and regional horticulture, education, conservation and its role as a scientific resource. Ways in which the aforementioned functions are actively present in the RGB include the protection of endangered flora like the Bashful Bulrush and the Red Mulberry who, without such conservation efforts, would no longer be a member of this rich Canadian landscape.

Today, the RBG works closely with McMaster stewardship initiatives to promote trail care and the rehabilitation of local habitats. The RBC welcomes students and encourages them to use the officially marked trails in RBG’s nature reserves for their exploration and enjoyment. The RBG recognizes the stresses of student life, and they fully believe that hiking and being outdoors is healthy both body and mind and should often be done. However, the RBG does ask for student awareness to help preserve the gorgeous, exciting and rare species houses in the Hamilton communities and to act as ambassadors of McMaster, please follow proper visitor etiquette:

  • Trails are open dawn to dusk, for foot traffic only; please no bicycles.
  • Please stay on the officially marked trails; trail maps are posted at each trailhead.
  • Take only photographs, leave only footprints.
  • Dogs must be leashed at all times; owners must clean up after their pets.
  • Faculty/staff/students must contact RBG before conducting any research/studies/classes etc. on the lands.

Natural Areas: Royal Botanical Gardens