Our Exciting 2021 Project

An all weather environment is needed to enable our upgraded education program to be rolled out. Hands on learning all year, during school holidays, out of the weather, in a well-equipped building with a garden backdrop, is essential for both our children and the gardens.

Currently our SHBG volunteers are masters of tent city – they erect tents to provide adequate ‘suitable environment of the day’ to visiting school children, however on occasion the weather is too severe even for tents, so the school visit has to be cancelled.

The Education Centre is ready to GO – we just need the money.

Our Vision is ‘to be the leader in displaying and researching both exotic and native flora of the Southern Highlands; advancing the knowledge of horticulture, conservation and sustainability to the wider community’.

Why the Education Centre is a Priority Project

One of the core aims of a botanic garden is to provide education.

The operation of our education program for adults and children over the last couple of years has been hindered by lack of an appropriate indoor space. Outdoor education is a wonderful experience for kids but that doesn’t take away the need to provide a roof and protection from severe weather elements when needed, especially in the Highlands.

The new Education Centre will enable us to focus on developing a unique children’s education program, without having to worry about the need to cancel if the weather is inclement. We are finalising a plan to expand and improve their experience with hands on learning all year, during school holidays, out of the weather, in a well-equipped building with a garden backdrop, on topics to include:

  • the environment – climate, water as a valuable resource, sustainable living,
  • the sciences – biology, geology, ecology, horticulture, geography, mathematics,
  • arts – drawing, painting, photography, poetry, sculpture, drama.

About the Project

  • Shovel ready – DA and CC approved.
  • Cost of $650,000 for construction and fit out.
  • Timeline – three months to build, fit out and landscape.
  • Capacity for 60 people.
  • Facilities – kitchenette, audio-visual equipment, NBN connection, powered by solar panels.
  • Varied uses – education, small function space, art exhibitions, gatherings, meetings.


To construct the education centre we need your support. As a not-for-profit community group we rely on the community and our supporters to develop our facilities.

Donate to our Education Centre Appeal