Everything we do at the Botanic Gardens Trust has an impact on the environment. We want to leave as small a footprint as we can, and to influence others to do the same.
In the last year we have:
- Kept potable water consumption in the Domain and Royal Botanic Gardens around half of our 2000 level
- Used 100 per cent dam water for irrigation at Mount Tomah Botanic Garden
- Reduced water use by 15 per cent at Mount Annan Botanic Garden
- Installed more rainwater tanks at Mount Tomah Botanic Garden so that all potable water at this Garden is now from rainwater tanks
- Used more than 90 per cent of mulch and other organic matter from recycled green waste at our three botanic gardens
- Recycled over 25 tonnes of general waste (e.g. bottles, cans, paper and cardboard). Sydney events clients and service/goods providers are also required to demonstrate leading environmentally sustainable practices and incorporate and promote recycling and other initiatives into their operations
- All major public events and commercial operators at the Sydney estates using 100 per cent accredited GreenPower
- Maintained or reduced use of toxic chemicals for pest control, and continued to trial and use non toxic alternatives such as biological controls. A hot water steam weeder is now used on the Sydney estates for weed control
- Sourced garden materials from sustainable sources - and not used peat moss and arsenic-chrome treated timber
- Selected plant species that are less susceptible to pests and diseases and do not require high pesticide treatments
- Continued to implement the National Botanic Gardens Weed Policy, including the assessment of all new plant collections and potential weed species. This year 131 assessments were completed in Sydney and a further 313 at Mount Tomah Botanic Garden
- Used environmentally sustainable design principles for all new buildings, depots and nurseries.
Leading up to our Bicentenary in 2016, we will:
- Develop garden themes that promote sustainable gardening practices and promote important environmental and climate change messages
- Use plant species which require low maintenance and develop displays
using recycled landscape materials where practical
- Remove and control problem weeds from Mount Annan Botanic Garden
- Use 100 per cent non-potable water for irrigating the Domain and Royal Botanic Gardens. This year consistent progress was made towards harvesting stormwater for use on the Sydney estates
- Continue to install rainwater tanks in the Domain and Royal Botanic Gardens and Mount Annan Botanic Garden and increase water recycling on all estates
- Review Trust retail products and packaging to minimise our environmental footprint and to promote environmental responsibility
- Set new challenging targets for all energy use. The Trust continues to audit its energy use and investigate options for ‘green generators’.
The NSW Seedbank at Mount Annan Botanic Garden stores seed collected from plants throughout Australia, with a focus on NSW native and threatened species. Collections for the Seedbank also support a range of research projects, from plant breeding and horticultural development to specific conservation projects. One current research focus is the Rainforest Seed Project, which will investigate the seed characteristics and storage physiology of Australian rainforest species.