- Our Botanic Bicentenary
- Red Box Gallery
Our Botanic Bicentenary
The Botanic Gardens Trust is heir to almost 200 years of knowledge and expertise in plant sciences, dating from the founding of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney in 1816. For two centuries it has led the discovery of Australia’s amazing plantlife, and inspired generations to care for their natural world.
At the heart of our knowledge and expertise are the Trust’s collections of living and preserved plants.
Today the living collections of the Trust are located not only at the Royal Botanic Gardens but also at our other estates: Mount Tomah Botanic Garden with its collection of cool-climate plants, Mount Annan Botanic Garden with its focus on Australian plants, and the Domain, a botanic park in its own right.
And with the growing collection of wild-sourced living seed in the NSW Seedbank at Mount Annan Botanic Garden, we are investing in an insurance policy for our most important plants, to protect them against climate change and biodiversity loss.
The Trust’s collection of 1.2 million preserved plants in the National Herbarium of New South Wales, and the 155-year-old library collection of books, journals, photographs, and artwork, remain a key resource for botanists and natural resource managers the world over.
A bicentenary is generally a time for reflection. We reflect on our history but, more importantly, we reflect on who we are now and who we need to be.
We are the stewards of four wonderful estates that provide multi-layered experiences for the community and our visitors - a place to learn about plants, a place of peace, beauty, and space to breathe, a place to get together with family and friends, a place to contribute through volunteering - and often, simply a place for recreation and entertainment. We are already recognised as a world-class scientific institution. We are, however, acutely conscious of the growing importance and new dimensions to our work in the face of escalating loss of plant diversity.
And we know just how crucial it now is - and how urgent - to bring to people the message of the importance of plants to all our lives:
Treasuring plants - treasuring our planet
We use our botanic gardens to inspire the community about plants and the stories that go with them. There are tales of discovery; of rarity and abundance; of adaptation and evolution; of interdependence between humans, plants and other animals; of just about any part of our lives. Our botanic gardens are living museums, and lifelong learning about sustainability and conservation is integral to the Trust’s mission.
So in planning for our bicentenary, our job is not only to protect and nourish a much-loved institution but also to equip it for its leading role in protecting plant diversity in a world of growing environmental challenges. It is essential we have the highest possible environmental standards - minimising resource use; using as much recycled water as possible; reducing our energy use; reducing, reusing and recycling our waste - and provide active leadership to the people of Sydney through demonstrating, doing and teaching. Building community connections, increasing involvement and participation, and hosting a diverse range of activities and events that cater for all sectors of the community are some of the ways we will increase our impact.
We’ve developed a range of projects leading up to 2016 covering science, sustainability, new visitor experiences, children and gardens, legacies for posterity, and memorable events in celebration of our 200th anniversary. Our first fundraising phase is from 2008-2010. We have included individual project outlines giving you more detail about projects during this phase. We welcome the opportunity to discuss any of these with you.
We invite you to share our vision, ideas and inspirations. We are protecting plant diversity in a world of growing environmental challenges.