Save the plants, save the planet – how one of the world’s happiest professions wrestles with the future of life on earth
Botanic gardens are increasingly being recognised as the frontline in tackling the biggest challenges facing our future – food security, pest and disease eradication, and adaptation to a changing climate.
To highlight this work, today the first Botanic Garden Australia and New Zealand Open Day has been launched with a full program of activities across the two countries.
The Open Day event will be held on Sunday 29 May 2016, with more than 71 gardens providing tours, entertainment, experiences and exhibitions to over an expected 100,000 people visiting botanic gardens across Australia and New Zealand.
“Botanic gardens have gathered centuries of resources and expertise and play a key role in plant conservation. Such work not only conserves threatened plant species, but forms the basis of critical science and research projects looking at some of the most important challenges we face,” said Costa Georgiadis, Ambassador for the Botanic Gardens Open Day.
“Gardening is often listed as one of the top 10 happiest professions in the world. The staff are passionate about their work and we see our role as educating, training and imparting knowledge to ensure our future is in safe hands.”
“Some of the biggest challenges of our time are being tackled on the botanic garden frontline. We know plants are critical to our lives, but there is still a low awareness in the general community of the work that botanic gardens undertake. That is what the Open Day is all about.”
“In my view – if you save the plants, you save the planet,” said Jimmy Turner, Director of Horticultural Management at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. “This year we are celebrating the 200th Birthday of Australia’s oldest botanic garden, and while how we perform our role has changed over time, the fundamental purpose of the garden has remained. Conservation, research and education are key to all that we do.”
“So whether you’re in Sydney, Auckland, Dubbo or Perth, come and visit a Botanic Garden and learn how you can help us save the planet one plant at a time.”
On the Botanic Garden Open Day 2016, the community will provide a range of engaging and educational activities in over 70 gardens. The program of events, available on www.botanicgardensopenday.org, includes highlights.