One of the property’s most treasured attributes are the formal gardens featuring unique flowers and plants from around the world, and the vast 565 acres of forested areas and trails. The trees planted during the Dunsmuir years came from all corners of the world and have matured into some of the largest trees in Canada. To ensure the protection, preservation, and educational presentation of this national historic site, Royal Roads ensures that the commemorative integrity of Hatley Park remains intact.

Specifically, in accordance with their federal property lease with the Department of National Defence, the university is required to: 

  • Prepare a full inventory, including the mapping and heritage recording of the Italian garden, Neptune court, upper terrace and lower terrace; as well as the pools, fountains, pathway alignments, structures, features, heritage trees and other plant material;
  • Establish a nursery system to preserve the genetic stock of the site’s heritage trees for future generations;
  • Ensure the site research materials are adequately inventoried, catalogued and managed to enable their use in on-going site research programs and in decision making at the site.

Through the generous contribution by Charros Foundation, retired RRMC graduate Ian Mottershead and his wife Rosemary, donated $300,000 to fund a three-year garden inventory project. Completed in the winter of 2007, the Hatley Park garden inventory is available on the website so that the general public, researchers, students, and horticultural enthusiasts can benefit from this information.