Friends were instrumental in the establishment of the Gardens through several years of lobbying and advocacy starting in 1998. This led to City of Gold Coast commissioning a site selection process and later a Botanic Garden Master Plan (Landplan Studio 2002). Community support followed and the first planting day was held in July 2003. There have been more than fifty community planting days, planned and coordinated by Friends and resulting in a plant collection that represents the regions distinct and diverse flora. Groups of horticulture students on practical assignments and hundreds of school children have also contributed to the Friends and communities efforts.
Friend’s honorary roles have grown, each year adding another important layer to their efforts.
The Herbarium is a collection of dried plant specimens collected and curated by Friends volunteers. Operating out of a demountable, the Herbarium collection is growing and forms an important research component of the gardens.
Education and interpretation are critical in communicating the important messages about the role of plants in our everyday lives. Children’s programmes such as Botanica and Kids in Conservation are planned and presented by Friends. Signs inspiring visitors to discover more about plants and wildlife have been funded by Friends with the support of partners in the community and successful grants.
Friends create interactive displays, brochures and have developed an extensive reference library to assist interested gardeners and students.
Visitor Services are provided by Friends with volunteers staffing the Friends Centre daily from 10am – 2.00pm. Assisting visitors with information on our regional flora and fauna, answering questions about the Gardens and site history are just part of the role of trained volunteers.
Friends Nursery volunteers propagate regional plants to add to the Plant Collection and to raise funds for various Gardens projects. Sales are held at Gardens events and the Nursery is open to the public for plant sales every Friday morning from 7am