THE Bendigo Botanic Gardens have received a $1 million boost from the federal government to help implement a master plan.
Federal candidate for Labor Lisa Chesters was yesterday joined by mayor Lisa Ruffell and the Friends of the Bendigo Botanic Gardens to announce the funding.
The master plan includes a restoration of the heritage garden, an extension of the garden east of Bendigo Creek, the creation of a new grand entrance and a playground.
Ms Ruffell said the redevelopment was a long-term project that would benefit the entire region.
“The bigger picture is having the visitor centre and the water feature park. It is a long project for the community and it is just overwhelming,” she said.
“I remember coming here with my own kids when they were little. Now they are 30 and have their own children.
“I think the community is going to be enriched for now and the future.”
Ms Chesters described the garden as a community asset and said the funding would support the implementation of the master plan.
“Our community takes pride in our shared spaces like the botanic gardens and Rosalind Park,” she said. “This redevelopment will greatly enhance the experience of its visitors, whether they are occasional visitors or regular users.”
Ms Chesters said the grant was secured through the Regional Development Australia Fund Round Five.
Friends of the Bendigo Botanic Gardens president Jane Cleary said she was very excited about the announcement.
“It means the garden will grow,” she said.
“The gardens are for everyone. They can come here as many times as they wish. The whole of Bendigo will benefit.”
Ms Cleary said she was most looking forward to seeing an increase in the collection of plants in the gardens.
“The botanic gardens’ collection of plants will increase,” she said. “We will have plants that grow locally in this area, indigenous plants, but also plants that grow in this type of climate.
“So it will be a great aid for people who want to set up their own gardens. They will be able to come and see what grows and take those ideas home.”