Work on the new $4.6M Garden for the Future at Bendigo Botanic Gardens, White Hills will commence during September following the awarding of a major construction contract at Wednesday’s Greater Bendigo City Council meeting.
City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Rod Fyffe said the Garden for the Future project involves a two hectare expansion of the botanic gardens.
“The new garden with its various zones is an exciting project that will not only enhance one of our City’s most treasured parklands assets it will also inspire the imaginations of both children and adults.
“The new garden will include a stage and grassed amphitheatre for outdoor performances and cinema, new toilet facilities, and a number of semi-intimate gathering spaces for weddings and corporate functions as well as a promenade that can be used for markets and other events.
“The garden will also function as an outdoor classroom and is expected to become a favourite destination for schools from throughout Central Victoria.
“In addition, it will also be the most botanically intensive section of the Bendigo Botanic Gardens with an incredible collection of over 600 varieties of plants,” said Cr Fyffe.
He said work is expected to begin this month and the project is expected to open by January 2018.
“The Bendigo Botanic Gardens, White Hills is one of our city’s oldest and most iconic cultural assets dating back to Bendigo’s earliest days and the Garden for the Future project will be a major new addition to the existing garden to provide an exceptional backdrop for outdoor events, informal recreation activities, gatherings, picnics, educational programs and horticultural research and high quality cultural, recreational and educational experiences.”
The $4.6M stage one of the project is being funded by a $3.56 million contribution from the City of Greater Bendigo, $1M from the State Government, $20,000 from the Friends of Bendigo Botanic Gardens and $20,000 from the Bendigo Northern District Community Enterprise.
A $4.05M contract for the project has been awarded to Ace Landscape Services P/L. A further $550,000 will fund the purchase and planting of over 30,000 trees and shrubs and 4,700 square metres of lawn which will be undertaken by City of Greater Bendigo staff.
Stage 2, which currently remains unfunded includes construction of the visitor centre and adjacent display garden and arbour.
The City of Greater Bendigo is currently seeking corporate sponsorship to fund the five sculptures featured in the fun and fantasy garden and gathering space trellis (as shown on the plans).