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Charitable Foundation invests in living classroom

Hunter Region Botanic Gardens Classroom web

There’s a new classroom at the Hunter Region Botanic Gardens that will benefit community members both big and small. The outdoor classroom has been designed to improve and expand on the Gardens environment education programs, increase the number of schools visiting each year and provide more hands-on learning opportunities.

 It’s an improvement made possible by $27,500 in funding from the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation. Hunter Region Botanic Gardens Chairman Kevin Stokes said “The funding from Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation has helped to improve the quality of facilities we have here and also increase access to all members of the community, including those that are wheelchair bound,”

“The improvements will benefit both primary school and tertiary education students and members of the wider community for a minimum of 10 years.” he said. Hunter Region Botanic Gardens supports a living collection of over 3000 plants and a Herbarium collection of 9,000 species. Theme gardens covering 30 hectares of the site include ornamental, ecological, taxonomic and evolutionary, geographic and conservation collections. The remainder of the site is maintained as a conservation zone of local flora and fauna. This funding will allow the gardens to continue to grow, conserve and promote plants, particularly plants of the Hunter region.

Charitable Foundation Chairman Michael Slater said the outdoor classroom is an excellent initiative and acknowledged the great work of the more than 100 volunteers whose dedication and passion has made the Botanic Gardens such a success. “The Hunter Region Botanic Gardens is a wonderful asset for our region and the funds provided by the Charitable Foundation will allow more people to use this important natural resource.”