Gradual reopening of the Botanical Garden
Many people miss having access to the Botanical Garden. Now the University of Oslo is working towards a careful reopening of the garden, but we must still take infection control measures.
Oslo’s citizens appreciate the Botanical Garden. Photo: Dag Inge Danielsen/UiO
I understand that the people of Oslo miss visiting the Botanical Garden. It is a very special place to welcome spring and summer. A reopening will have to happen gradually and over time, and we are in dialogue with our staff about how this can be done safely for our scientific plant collection, our visitors, and our staff, says Rector Svein Stølen
Botanical gardens in Europe are closed
Similarly to other botanical gardens in Europe, the Botanical Garden in Oslo has been closed to the public since authorities implemented strict infection control measures and closed all universities and museums. The Botanical Garden in Copenhagen is closed until 10 May, while the Jardin de Plantes in Paris is closed indefinitely. The same goes for Kew Gardens in London and the Botanical Garden in Hamburg. Sweden has a different strategy than most other European countries, and the Botanical Garden in Gothenburg is open. In Helsinki the Kaisaniemi Botanical Garden is partially open.
Not a park
We must remember that the Botanical Garden is not a park, but a living scientific museum with vulnerable and rare plants that require very attentive care. This work must also be prioritised while the garden is closed, and we are now looking at how this work can be done concurrently while we gradually ensure that the garden to some extent can be made available to the public again, says Stølen.
Although the Botanical Garden will be made partially available to visitors again, there will be restrictions on opening hours and the number of visitors. A reopening requires extensive security and the important work of maintaining the plant collection must most likely be done outside of opening hours.
At least as much as Oslo’s citizens, we are looking forward to being able to reopen the gates of the Botanical Garden as soon as we have a safe solution in place, concludes Stølen.