AIH Meeting & Talk: Designing & Maintaining Public Gardens

By Patrick Regnault FAIH RH

 

The last meeting of the year saw us at the Gold Coast Botanic Garden. Our host was Alex Jakimoff, President of the Friends of The Gold Coast Botanic Gardens.

 

Alex Jakimoff president of the Friends of The Gold Coast Botanic Gardens.

 

Whilst walking through the gardens Alex spoke about their creation, the work done by the five council staff and volunteers, who give a total of twenty hours/week to look after part of the Gardens. Those passionate and too often overlooked volunteers are an essential part of why public places and gardens are looked after as well as they are. We also need to remember that those same volunteers have accumulated a wealth of knowledge which we, as a profession, need to embrace and welcome into our midst.

 

 

Alex and the Friends have an ambitious project they are currently working towards which is a new Regional Biodiversity Centre. It would be situated in the Gardens and would be a plus regionally for the Gold Coast city, the hinterland and beyond.

This is what Alex had to say about it:

“The Friends are passionate about preserving and restoring the remaining natural environment of the Gold Coast Region, one of Australia’s biodiversity “hot-spots” which is one of only 36 on this planet. They have been working to develop a Concept Design for a Regional Biodiversity Centre located in the Botanic Gardens.

This “state of the art” Interpretive Centre will showcase and celebrate the incredible biodiversity of the region, over 1600 plant species with 88 of them being threatened species. An exciting innovative centre would feature a structural timber design with high environmental sustainability and function as an information, education and research hub for visitors and students”.

Some of the many roles of such a Centre would be to educate local and overseas visitors to create an educational forum for school children to learn about plant science, and to foster an understanding of the local flora and its interaction with the fauna.

 

 

Botanic gardens need to be supported, Botanic Gardens volunteer associations and professional organisations like AIH play a role in encouraging the different levels of government to concretely support those important botanical institutions.

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