Chief Minister opens Festival of the Forests at National Arboretum

Released 03/04/2012

ACT Chief Minister and Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Katy Gallagher, today opened the fourth annual Festival of the Forests community event at the National Arboretum in Canberra.

"This year, the Festival has adopted an international theme, World of Forests', which reflects the diversity of the trees and forests planted in the Arboretum and will feature food and cultural entertainment from Japan, Spain, Turkey and the USA," the Chief Minister said.

"The international theme also aims to increase the national awareness of conservation issues of trees from Australia and the world.

"It is wonderful that Canberrans have the opportunity to come and see how the National Arboretum is growing ahead of its official launch for the Centenary of Canberra celebration in 2013.

"So far the National Arboretum Canberra has planted approximately 35,000 trees, with iconic, significant and threatened species from different parts of the world. These trees include the Australian Bunya Pine, the Spanish Silver Birch, the Japanese Yoshino Cherry, the Turkish Lone Pine, and the American Giant Sequoia," the Chief Minister said.

Other activities at the Festival included guided walks and bus tours of the Arboretum, interactive displays on biodiversity and conservation as well as tours of the construction of the visitors centre, while children had the opportunity to make kites and craft, complete a tree themed passport puzzle and undertake orienteering activities.

"The Festival of the Forests has also joined with the McGrath Foundation for a picnic and bike ride, which was a great opportunity for families to explore the trees that have already been planted at the Arboretum," the Chief Minister concluded.

When complete, the National Arboretum will feature a mosaic of 100 forests and 100 gardens of threatened and significant trees from our region, across Australia and from around the world.

- Statement ends -

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