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Friends of the Garden

If you love the NSW South Coast’s distinctive flora and our region's beautiful botanic garden, join Friends of the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden (ERBG).

Friends work closely with Eurobodalla Shire Council (Council) to achieve the Garden's conservation, recreational and educational goals.

Friends is an incorporated non-profit community organisation with over 400 members.

Benefits of being a Friend

As a Friend, you'll have the chance to enjoy:

  • talks, visits and social events
  • discounts on plants and other gift shop purchases
  • opportunities to connect to the wonders of this special place.

Friends play a vital role for the Garden by:

  • supporting activities and events
  • fundraising
  • applying for and securing grand funds.

How to become a Friend

It's easy to become a Friend of the Garden. You can sign-up in person at the Garden or complete an application:

How to renew your membership

It’s also easy to stay a Friend by renewing your membership the same way.

You can join or renew for one or three years. You'll receive a discount for the three-year membership.

Membership renewals are due on 30 June each year.

Annual membership starts on 1 July and extends to 30 June of the following year.

The Privacy Act 1988 governs how we process your personal information provided in the membership application.

Donating to the Garden

We welcome donations to the Garden through the Friends Public Fund. Donations support projects such as the Jenny Liney Scholarship.

Donations of $2 or more to the Friends Public Fund are tax deductible. We'll provide you with a receipt for your payment.

Governance

A committee of eight members elected by Friends, manages Friends of the ERBG. The committee works closely with Council under arrangements set out under a Memorandum of Understanding.

Under a Partnership Agreement with Council, 90% of retail profit is donated directly to the Garden.

In 1985 Eurobodalla Coastwatchers Association suggested to establish a flora reserve to preserve and protect the region's native plants.

Friends of Eurobodalla Native Botanic Gardens started in October 1986. State Forests issued permission to Council to occupy a 42-hectare site within Mogo State Forest to establish a botanic garden.

How the Garden started

The Garden’s first concept plan inspired the start of major landscaping works in 1989.

Bushfire swept through the site on 6 January 1994, burning the entire Gardens, including all infrastructure. Friends, Garden volunteers and community members worked with Council staff to clean up fire ravaged debris from the site. They also began the long process of:

  • harvesting seeds
  • replacing plants
  • rebuilding infrastructure destroyed in the fire.

A new concept plan developed in 1996 started the foundation of all new display garden beds and other developments in the Garden. This also included a herbarium and visitor centre. Construction of the visitor centre/herbarium building ended in 2001.

By 2015 it was clear that the herbarium needed an upgrade to protect over 13,500 specimens. Friends funded an architect, engineer, and other consultants to help draft grant applications. Friends and Garden management were successful in securing grant funding worth about $2.2m. The grant funds allowed us to build a new visitor centre and climate-controlled and insect-proof herbarium. These buildings survived the ‘Black Summer Bushfire’ that ravaged the Garden on New Years Eve in 2019. However, the Garden grounds and infrastructure didn’t fare so well and were extensively damaged. After the fire passed, Friends and volunteers adopted thousands of plants from the nursery to care for them at home. As soon as the Garden reopened, Friends and volunteers were back in force to continue supporting the Garden.

Partnership between Friends and Council

Friends and Council have a Partnership Agreement to distribute funds from retail sales (some exclusions apply). Funds are also raised through events and grants awarded for Garden projects.

Friends have raised significant funds over many years to contribute to a wide range of projects at the Garden, including:

  • the herbarium building, its current and ongoing equipment needs and library
  • the arboretum
  • children’s play space
  • regional native flora seed bank and improvements in the propagation nursery
  • a wide range of equipment purchases, workshop relocation and parking area upgrade
  • themed gardens and display gardens
  • wheelchair-accessible barbecue pavilion
  • redevelopment of the Visitor Centre
  • engaging a thematic/interpretation design consultant.

Future planned projects include:

  • a bird hide, sound panel and water feature
  • directional signage
  • orchid house development
  • fern house display
  • upgrades to the nursery.

Friends have also developed educational materials and services, including;

  • guided walks for visitors and special groups
  • a colour brochure about birds of the ERBG
  • equipment for use by school children when visiting.

Many Friends members also work as volunteers across different areas of the Garden.

The Friends Public Fund has supported the Garden by:

  • publishing the bird brochure in the Visitor Centre
  • funding the replacement signage after the bushfires
  • donating a camera/microscope to use in the herbarium.

The Friends Public Fund also operates the Jenny Liney Scholarship. The annual scholarship benefits local students studying at university or TAFE in a field related to the natural sciences.

All donations to the fund of $2 or more are tax deductable.

Newsletter

Friends publish a quarterly newsletter that outlines issues and events related to the Garden and operation of the Friends organisation:

Annual photographic competition and calendar

Friends hold an annual photographic competition in partnership with Council each year. Entrants have the chance to win cash prizes and have their images selected for the annual Garden calendar and photographic exhibition.

Entrants must take their photographs within the ERBG.

Bird brochure

This free, popular, full colour brochure features 50 of the most recorded birds in the Garden.

Jenny Liney Tertiary Scholarship

The annual scholarship of up to $5,000 supports students from the Eurobodalla who start or continue tertiary studies in a field related to the natural sciences. This could include botany, horticulture, conservation, or environmental studies.

The scholarship recognises the contribution of the Late Jenny Liney OAM to the development and maintenance of the Garden's Wallace Herbarium. Jenny worked untiringly as voluntary coordinator of the Herbarium over many years. It continues as an important scientific collection of specimen plants from the region.

To find out more about the scholarship, including how to apply:

Find out more

Contact us

For more information, contact us at: