Arboretum volunteers provide inspiration to local gardeners

Released 03/04/2012

ACT Chief Minister and Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Katy Gallagher, today launched a new gardening brochure - Garden makers of the Southern Tablelands - at the Festival of the Forests at the National Arboretum Canberra.

The brochure has been produced by the Southern Tablelands Ecosystems Park (STEP) Inc, a community organisation which is developing a small botanic garden within the Arboretum.

"The brochure draws on the group's experiences at the Arboretum and provides a wealth of tips on how to create and maintain a beautiful garden in Canberra's conditions," the Chief Minister said.

"STEP is creating one of the 100 forests at the Arboretum that will be planted in time for the Centenary of Canberra in 2013.

"Unlike the single species forests of the Arboretum's other gardens, STEP's forest contains 16 species of eucalyptus from the southern tablelands. The group is also putting in understorey plantings - shrubs, creepers, vines, herbs, ferns and grasses - and a small wetland to attract frogs and birds. It is already a fantastic addition to the Arboretum.

"Once complete, the STEP forest will represent the grassy woodland ecosystem of the Southern Tablelands, with a conservation corridor linked to the reserve system of the region, and an education centre for conservation and landscape restoration.

"The forest has been developed with the assistance of the National Arboretum and the STEP volunteers, whilst the brochure has been developed with funding through the ACT Environment Grants program.

"I encourage people to pick up a copy of the Garden makers of the Southern Tablelands brochure and to visit or even volunteer at the STEP garden at the National Arboretum," the Chief Minister concluded.

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