Unique new garden at Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens

Ribbon cutting with members of the public standing by

The new Legacy Prairie Garden at the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens was unveiled Saturday, where the many donors that made this feature possible were among the first to walk the new, winding pathways.

This unique garden is a combination of different ecosystems found in different parts of the Prairies. You’ll find examples of tallgrass, alvar and sand barren prairie as you explore this space, which is the largest garden of its kind in Canada.

One interesting feature you’ll notice right away is the paved pathway. It is a fully accessible and permeable solution that makes the Legacy Prairie Garden available year-round. The material includes a gravel substrate with an epoxy granite material. Below, a drainage system takes water into a retention pond. During periods of heavy rainfall, this creates a water feature that is sure to attract all sorts of wildlife to this wonderful new section of the Botanical Gardens.

This project commemorates the 75th anniversary of the founding of both the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture and the Ontario Parks Association in 2011. A labour of love for all those who have worked and contributed to the garden’s creation on the grounds of the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, it is designed as a public and educational resource featuring the native habitat and meadows/prairie gardens most often found throughout Ontario.

The new Legacy Prairie Garden is located on the grounds of the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, right next to the Butterfly Conservatory.

People standing on path in a garden
Man walking down path in a garden
Pond surrounded by prairie grasses
Man taking photos in a garden

Queenston Heights Harvest BBQ Featured Recipe


Queenston Heights Restaurant 8th Annual Harvest BBQ

Let’s celebrate the final days of summer together with some fantastic BBQ. It’s that time again, the 8th Annual Harvest BBQ is here on Sunday September 7th at 4pm.

Enjoy delectable, chef-created masterpieces along with live entertainment and VQA wine tastings at the beautiful Queenston Heights Restaurant.

What’s on the menu?

  • Assorted Smoked Fish Display
  • Baked Halibut
  • Angus Slider Burgers on Sesame Bun
  • Slow-Cooked Maple Baked Beans
  • BBQ Baby Back Ribs
  • Roasted Jerk Chicken
  • Grilled Chorizo Sausage

Full details available online: niagaraparks.com/bbq

In keeping with the BBQ theme Chef Bill Greenan of Queenston Heights Restaurant has generously prepared this grill inspired Jerk Chicken recipe topped with a refreshing Salsa created with pineapple, papaya and jalapeno for your taste buds to enjoy.

Grilled Jerk Chicken With Pineapple Papaya Jalapeño Salsa

Yield: 4-6 Portions

Jerk Marinade

  • ½ cup Canola Oil
  • 1 ea Onion (coarsely chopped)
  • 2 ea Scallions (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 ea Jalapeño Pepper (stem and seeds removed)
  • 1Tbsp Fresh Ginger (grated)
  • 3 ea Cloves of Garlic (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme (finely chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Light Brown Sugar
  • ¼ tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Freshly Ground Nutmeg
  • Pinch Ground Cloves
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Freshly Ground Black
  • 1 tsp Fresh Lime Juice
  • 4 ea Chicken Thighs (skin on, bone in)
  • 4 ea Chicken Drumsticks (skin on)


  1. Put all ingredients, except chicken in a blender and blend until everything is pureed.
  2. Place chicken in marinade and refrigerate from 6 to a maximum of 24 hours.
  3. Cook chicken until done in oven or grill on barbeque to internal temperature of 165ºF/74ºC.

Pineapple / Papaya / Jalapeño Salsa

  • ½ ea Pineapple (finely diced)
  • ¼ cup Red Onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 ea Jalapeño (finely diced)
  • 2 Tbsp Cilantro (chopped)
  • 3 Tbsp Lime Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Orange Juice
  • 1 ea Papaya (finely diced)
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste


  1. Combine all ingredients and place in refrigerator for an hour before serving.


BBQ Details

What: 8th Annual Harvest BBQ
Where: Queenston Heights Restaurant – 14184 Niagara Parkway
When: Sunday, September 7, 2014
Cost: $40 adults / $20 (children under 12)
Why: Delectable Chef-Created Masterpieces, Live Music & VQA Wine! Enough Said!

Call (905) 262-4274 to reserve your spot.  Full details available online: niagaraparks.com/bbq

Never-to-be-Forgotten Experience


“I am very sure that the majority of our 21st century visitors who take that wonderful Journey Behind the Falls leave feeling they have also had an awe-inspiring, never-to-be-forgotten experience. Happy 125th to the Journey Behind the Falls,” said Official Niagara Parks Historian Sherman Zavitz.

Mr. Zavitz took guests back in time with his presentation celebrating the 125th Anniversary of Journey Behind the Falls during the last Niagara Parks Commission meeting.

“For just a very few minutes let me take you back to 1889 – 125 years ago. Sir John A. Macdonald was the Prime Minister of Canada that year. The country had a population of about 4.5 million and seven provinces. The Niagara Parks Commission, as we now know it, was just four years old and Queen Victoria Park had been open for only one year.”

“Niagara Parks opened a new and, in fact its first, attraction: a 150-foot-long tunnel behind the Horseshoe Falls. An observation portal was created to allow visitors a spectacular view of the massive curtain of falling water. ”

After touching on other historic events, Mr. Zavitz shared the following quotes from local media in 1889. This is how they described Journey Behind the Falls:

“I am persuaded that there is no more sublime or awe-inspiring scene to be witnessed elsewhere on the planet.”

“To watch those floods pouring past the rocks just in the mouth of the tunnel is to receive such an impression of awe and of the sublime aspect of the falls, as can never be forgotten – it is an experience for life.”

What a wonderful endorsement!

Celebrations Continue

During the month-long celebration that started August 1st, JBF-cake-cutting-cherylNiagara Parks has engaged visitors from around the world sharing 31 Stories over social media channels. On Friday, August 22, a free “birthday cake” event was held at Table Rock for visitors and invited guests. The celebration continues until the 31st of August, so come and experience the fun for yourself!

Your Journey awaits you!