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Ballarat’s fernery set for redevelopment

REVAMP: Friends of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens Elizabeth Gilfillan and Raoul Dixon in the run down fernery. Picture: Kate Healy. THE Ballarat Botanical Gardens Fernery is set to undergo a major redevelopment.
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The project was officially launched on Friday evening giving guests the opportunity to hear about what changes willbe made to the facility as part of the upgrade.

The City of Ballarat has already provided a $1.4 million grant for the project, with a fundraising campaign now underway to see the project fullycompleted.

Friends of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens redevelopment convener​Elizabeth Gilfilan said the event was a big milestone on the way to redeveloping the fernery.

“(The redevelopment)will not be copying the past, it will be looking to the future, it will highlight sustainability and environmental issues,” she said.“It will give an opportunity for education and public awareness.

“Garden tourism is one of the fastestgrowing tourism activities in the world.”

Ms Gilfillian said the fernery had been derelict for at least 20 years.

“We have been working through that whole period to highlight it to council just how important it is to have this part of the gardensrevitalised from a tourism perspective and an educational perspective.”

Friends of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens president Raoul Dixon said the important thing to acknowledge is that it was not just a fernery.

“It will have a whole range of other features, and will have broad appealright through from children to adults.It will be a major feature of not just this botanical garden, but any botanical gardens,” he said.

“We think it will be a feature that will make the BallaratBotanical Gardens the best of any botanical gardensin any regional city in Australia.”

Laidlaw & Laidlaw Designed has been appointed as the landscape architect for the project.

“Fernery structures on a very grand scale were common in19th century gardens and Ballarat Botanical Gardens is fortunate to be one of the few which will revivethis tradition,” Andrew Laidlaw said.

“These structures were not just about housing plants, they were about providing an overallexperience for the visitors. Often the structures were architecturally exciting and a strong focal point inthe landscape.

“Together the architecture and plants created the experience. We are very honoured to bepart of the redevelopment of Ballarat’s fernery and believe we can create a wild and inspiring spacewhich excites people of all walks of life about plants.”

The Ballarat Botanical Gardens Trust Fund is now undertaking a public fundraising campaign withdeductible donations from individuals and organisations welcome.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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