University of Melbourne hosts National Botanic Garden Celebrations

June 16 / 183

The University of Melbourne’s System Garden in Parkville and the Burnley Campus in Richmond grabbed the chance to be part of the first Botanic Garden Australia and New Zealand Open Day celebrations at the end of May.

The Botanic Gardens Open Day was a national day of recognition that showcases the achievements of botanic gardens in the field of plant conservation, protecting plants from the threat of extinction.

More than 70 botanic gardens across Australia and New Zealand participated, marking the day with a series of special activities encouraging communities to explore their botanic garden.

Tim Uebergang, System Garden Curator at the University of Melbourne says the day recognises the important work Botanic Gardens do in tackling the biggest challenges facing our future - food security, pest and disease eradication, and adaptation to a changing climate.

Activities included guided tours exploring the plants and history of the Parkville System Garden and the Burnley Campus gardens, and a talk on beekeeping from the resident System Garden beekeeper.

“Open Day attendees joined others from across the nation visiting their local botanic garden, connecting with their neighbours and uncovering a new passion for protecting the plants that give us life,” Mr Uebergang says.

“The importance of plants cannot be understated. They are the source of most traditional and herbal medicines and with malnutrition affecting approximately 800 million people worldwide, botanic gardens will play an important role in addressing food shortages with viable food plant options. Their loss from our environment will have a devastating impact on the planet and its people.”

The System Garden is committed to plant conservation and student education in the garden, from plants and water usage to the importance of bees and how they can serve us.

“Our aim is to demonstrate how a small educational space like the System Garden can contribute to the broad awareness of plants and their allies, and how they all play a part in the global system. It is gardens like these across the globe that we hope can make a real difference to the survival of plants worldwide.”

The Botanic Gardens Australia & New Zealand Open Day was organised by BGANZ Inc. in conjunction with the 74 participating botanic gardens nation-wide. All participating botanic gardens are listed on botanicgardensopenday.org 

Story by Nerissa Hannink

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