COUNCIL will open the new $4.6 million Garden for the Future at Bendigo Botanic Gardens White Hills on Sunday.
A free community event featuring local bands, food trucks, barbecue, displays, tours and kids activities from 10am to 2pm will help launch the new gardens, which represent the biggest change to the popular site since it was established in 1857.
“We thought there was no better way to celebrate the opening than to hold a community event that will really showcase the types of events that will be able to take place at the new garden,” mayor Margaret O’Rourke said.
“Local bands Bill Barber, Erica Hawkey Band, Sherri Parry and the Funk Junkies will play on the day while kids entertainment will include stilt walkers, face painting, balloon twisting and an Australian native wildlife display.
There will also be a selection of food trucks and a barbecue.”
Cr O’Rourke said the new garden provided an ideal backdrop for outdoor events, informal recreation activities, gatherings, picnics, educational programs and horticultural research and high quality cultural, recreational and educational experiences.
“The new garden will be a great place for people wanting to check out a range of plants they may be interested in planting in their own gardens. I’m excited to watch this new garden continue to develop and grow over the coming years,” she said.
More than 4700 square metres of turf lawn and 30,000 trees and shrubs have been planted at the site, and there are more than 40 small picnic lawns and a large fun and fantasy lawn which doubles as an event space.
The new garden also features a new outreach shelter complete with toilet facilities. The outreach shelter is the social hub of the garden able to cater to a range of events from musical and theatrical performances through to moonlight cinemas.
The shelter can also be used as an outdoor classroom to teach horticulture and sustainability.
The $4.6m stage one of the project is funded by a $3.56m contribution from the City of Greater Bendigo, $1m from the State Government, $20,000 from the Friends of Bendigo Botanic Gardens and $20,000 from the Bendigo Northern District Community Enterprise.