Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Spiders Invade Royal Botanical Garden during Kid-Friendly Exhibit

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Spiders Invade Royal Botanical Garden during Kid-Friendly Exhibit

Article excerpt

Spiders Alive coming to Royal Botanical Gardens

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HAMILTON - Roses and lilacs aren't yet in bloom but nature enthusiasts can escape the winter cold by visiting a spider exhibit making its Canadian debut this week at the Royal Botanical Gardens.

Spiders Alive, developed by the American Museum of Natural History in New York, runs through mid-April.

Seventeen species of arachnids will be on display at Canada's largest botanical gardens near Hamilton, Ont. In addition to live critters, the show will feature a 100-million-year-old spider fossil, bilingual days, a climbable spider model for kids, a children's pyjama party and an after-dark adult social.

An estimated 50,000 people are expected to visit the exhibit, which follows one last year that focused on frogs.

The winter exhibit is part of the botanical gardens' efforts to cater to families with young children, says spokesman Nick Kondrat.

"Hopefully they develop a relationship with the Royal Botanical Gardens and see all the other things we do and ultimately develop a lifelong appreciation for nature and the natural world and the environment," he said in an interview.

Admission includes entry to the indoor atrium and Mediterranean Garden that features plants currently in bloom as well as four formal gardens within the 1,100 hectare nature reserve and 32 kilometres of nature trails that welcome leashed dogs.

The vast property situated within the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve is a frequent stop for migratory birds, making it a coveted spot for bird watchers, photographers and artists.

Come spring time, the outdoor gardens begin buzzing with visitors looking at blooms ranging from tulips to lilacs and roses.

The RBG has one of the most diverse lilac collections in the world and the rose garden underwent a $3-million rejuvenation last year to introduce hardy varieties that bloom from mid-June throughout the summer. …

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