Major Benefits of the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens
SHBG is seeking funding from the NSW Government’s Regional Cultural Fund – Round 2 for the cost of SHBG’s landscape architect to develop the Garden design sketch plan to a detailed design and for the cost of development of the Country Garden and the Regional Area of the Garden. This work would develop about three-quarters of the Garden area.
The reason for starting on this part of the Garden is that the Garden closest to the location of the Visitor Centre will require major earth works. The Visitor Centre and the Garden closest to it will need to wait until separate funding is available.
Given that this funding application is successful, the development of this major part of the Garden will mean that the Garden will become a major destination in the Southern Highlands as everyone will want to see this important piece of garden infrastructure. It will not only attract people interested in horticulture, but those who do not have any interest in gardens. It will be a destination to enjoy for a range of reasons and will provide benefits to the region and the local community, such as those listed below.
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One of the essential benefits of the Garden to the community include:
- Recreational – For garden lovers and non-garden lovers, the Garden will be a place for families and friends to visit and enjoy themselves in beautiful surroundings – every season of the year. Children can be entertained in the playground or can participate in the many wonders of the parterre garden, the boardwalk or the open field.
- Economic – The completed Garden and Visitor Centre will draw many local and regional visitors and will provide an economic benefit to the local community and region. Events such as weddings and other family celebrations, together with art and cultural events and exhibitions, public events for all the community will all bring work opportunities and revenue to the region.
- Social – Many people use their outing to the Garden as a social opportunity. These can be people who are in the older demographic and who may live alone and enjoy the company of other like-minded people in a non-threatening environment. Community events at the Garden attract young and old community members who take the opportunity of a social outing with family or friends to enjoy a different cultural or social experience in a garden setting.
- Educational – The Garden is a place of learning, whether it is horticulture, photography, ecology, science, art, drama or climate. Our education program at the Garden, so far, involves school children learning the tricks of the gardening trade, adult learning about gardening techniques, technical gardening skills for professional, and more.
- Health – Outdoor activities, and gardening in particular, are known to be beneficial to the mental, physical and psychological health of people who participate. A garden setting is a calm environment, which provides opportunities for many levels of activities from viewing the garden from a distance, to walking through and exploring the glories of the Garden, the birds and the secrets behind the plantings.
- Art and culture – The Garden will provide a large outdoor venue for arts and cultural events that would include exhibitions, displays, dramatic performances, photographic opportunities, and more. The Garden is a piece of artwork in its own right and is a museum, in which the trees and other plants are the exhibits.
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