$500k boost for Bendigo Botanic Gardens project

TOUR: Premier Denis Napthine experiences the Bendigo Botanic Gardens. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

TOUR: Premier Denis Napthine experiences the Bendigo Botanic Gardens. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Friends of the Bendigo Botanic Gardens has welcomed the announcement of a $500,000 funding boost for the heritage-listed site.

Premier Denis Napthine visited Bendigo on Tuesday to announce the state government's contribution to the $3.9 million redevelopment project.

The previous federal Labor government had promised $1 million to the project as part of the Regional Development Fund, but the present federal Coalition government is yet to honour the pledge.

Dr Napthine said the historic botanic gardens was a terrific facility with enormous future potential.

“This major investment will not only make the botanic gardens an even better place for local residents to visit, it will also help to attract even more visitors to the great regional city of Bendigo,” Dr Napthine said.

 “The Garden for the Future project features a three-hectare contemporary  garden that will complement the existing heritage-listed garden first  established in 1857.

“Importantly, the project will also build on Bendigo’s growing reputation as a major regional hub for cultural events, with the installation of a new events space within the garden.

"This is a site that over the next five, 10, 15 years will see an absolutely massive revitalisation of these gardens."

Friends of Bendigo Botanic Gardens president Jane Cleary said she was thrilled with the contribution, which would also help fund a new children's playground, community meeting areas and a new plant collection.

Ms Cleary said the gardens were a central part of the Bendigo community and needed to be cherished.

"It's important to the people - it's an education feature and it's a social feature," Ms Cleary said.

"It's quiet, it's peaceful, and houses now often have so little gardens, so this becomes everyone's garden.

"It's here every day, all year, from when you're born and brought in your pram until the end of your life.

"We're planting trees for the next generation."

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