Development of the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens has taken another step forward with the awarding of a $7,100 grant to the company by IMB Community Foundation. The funds will be used to install an automatic watering system and erect a shed for the safe storage of chemicals.
Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens Limited chairman, Charlotte Webb, said the grant provided the company with an opportunity to expedite its plant education and propagation area project. “The watering system and storage shed are integral parts of the project but were unfunded until now,” she said.
Ms Webb said the automatic watering system would ensure that propagated plants got the water they need when they need it, rather than having to rely on the good will of volunteers. She said the project will grow plants for the botanic garden that are not readily available in nurseries. The shed would enable the company to meet its obligations under codes of practice for the safe handling and storage of chemicals and will ensure a hazard-free learning area for visitors and school groups.
“I am very grateful to the IMB Community Foundation for its recognition of this project, and the gardens as a whole, as a worthwhile community endeavour,” Ms Webb said.
SHBG is developing the 13-hectare site at the corner of Kangaloon Road and Old South Road, East Bowral, in partnership with Wingecarribee Shire Council. The gardens will be developed in stages over the next 20 years and will reflect the four seasons enjoyed in the Highlands.
As well as forming an attraction for the local community and tourists, the gardens will provide an educational facility that will transfer skills and knowledge in the propagation of endangered endemic species and rare plants. The facility will cater for school students and special interest groups and anyone interested in learning more about botanic gardens. It will also address the climate change issues that gardens and parks across the world are encountering.
Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens were officially opened by the Governor of New South Wales, Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir, in December last year. Two collections have already been planted including one of the largest Buxus collections held by any botanic garden in Australia.