Posted in BGANZ, Botanic Garden, engagement

Resources to use for the 2018 Botanic Gardens Day

On Sunday 27 May 2018, 70 gardens across Australasia will be celebrate the important plant conservation work done across the network.

There is a wonderful range of engagement activities planned – see the list here.

There are some great resources to use such as Social Media headers, talking points, website headers, email signatures, and a media release template for you to help promote your events – as well as a dedicated hashtag #BGANZDay.

bg day
Use the Botanic Gardens Day header on your Facebook page to showcase the day

You can also share the Botanic Gardens Day video produced specifically for the event to help you advertise your activities – the more you share, the greater the engagement for the Botanic Gardens Day!

Posted in Botanic Garden, engagement

Mini gardens

Guest post by Jade Farrar, education officer at the Wollongong Botanic Garden (in partnership with Michael Connor, Wollongong Botanic Garden).

The recent Seniors Week provided the Wollongong Botanic Garden the opportunity to host a handful of engaging workshops for members of the public. ‘Create a Terrarium’ was one of these workshops, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all participants. Participants had the opportunity to learn about the history of terrariums, types of terrariums and how to make and maintain their own mini-ecosystem.



There are a number of reasons why people choose to make a terrarium including:

– To bring a little of piece of nature indoors.

– They are great for people that lack a ‘green thumb’ as they are relatively self-sustaining.

– A great idea for a garden where space is limited

– They are simple and inexpensive to create and can be tailored to personal taste

– They make a beautiful personalised gift

The outcome of the workshop was a fabulous range of mini gardens in an assortment of different jars, and a great enthusiasm as to how participants would design their next terrarium!


This workshop can be catered to all age groups. Not only are terrariums a beautiful piece of home décor, they are also a fantastic learning tool. Terrariums are a mini self-sustaining ecosystem that can be used to teach about cycles in nature and the interconnectedness of the environment, providing an engaging and hands-on educational activity for children to create their own mini-world. Students have a fabulous time creating their own mini Jurassic Park or Fairy Garden.


Posted in Botanic Garden, school holiday programme

Conservation-themed school holiday programme

Autumn school holidays are nearly upon us in New Zealand (14-29 April) and here at the Auckland Botanic Gardens we’ve put together a series of free conservation-themed activities for kids (to match our overall conservation theme that runs until July).

We’ve worked with a graduate student, our visitor services team, volunteers and an external contractor to put together  and deliver the programme, and look forward to engaging with all the families that attend.

Advertising for the programme is through our local community newspaper, online, social media, email newsletter lists and posters on site. This is traditionally very effective for us, and the advertising cost is practically $0.

Here is the overall programme – leave a comment if you’d like more details or an explanation of how we are running these activities. And let us know what you are planning for the upcoming school holidays!

School holiday poster_Autumn 2018

Posted in blog

Making engagement easy

How do we make it easy for our visitors to know about the range of  activities they can do at our gardens? Sometimes visitors are simply not aware of all that is on offer, despite a range of signs, posters or info boards.

We have found that listing even simple activities can help visitors make the most of their time at the garden. For example, during our three-month dinosaur events, we produced a ‘7 Dinosaurus things to do’ flyer which was a hit with families. While there were  posters, signs, staff and guides, the way we ‘bundled’ all that was on offer into one simple flyer (almost like a menu to choose from) was very successful.

Something this simple can help new visitors overcome overwhelm, and provide suggestions on how to best enjoy a visit.

7 things to do


Posted in BGANZ, Botanic Garden

Wollongong Botanic Garden’s Recycled Discovery Centre

Post by Michael Connor, Wollongong Botanic Garden

Watch this entertaining video and prepare to be inspired!
The Recycled Discovery Garden showcases a fun new approach to educating about sustainability at Wollongong Botanic Garden, especially for young visitors. This garden features quirky growing containers, such as used furniture, old bird cages and car tyres. The aim of the garden is to inspire children to get up close and engage with the flowers and edible plants. It gives them some understanding of where food comes from.

Posted in Botanic Garden, Interpretation, school holiday programme

Science and Art


As with any Botanic Gardens, we offer a wide range of educational activities across a variety of age ranges. Some are more successful and/or popular than others. When you look at the community education activities that are most popular – regardless of age – odds on they include a blend of art and science.

Despite popular opinion that one is either an arty person or a science nerd, there has long been a close association between the two disciplines. Both art and science are ways in which humans investigate and explore their environment in an attempt to understand and describe the world around us. Scientists and artists may use different methodologies and appeal to different audiences, but the motivations and goals are essentially the same.

In fact, science and art has a long history of successful collaboration. The ancient Greek word for art was techne, from which the words technique and technology are derived—terms that are equally applicable to both scientific and artistic practices. Continue reading “Science and Art”

Posted in Uncategorized

World Environment Day Celebrations at Adelaide Botanic Garden


World Environment Day is the United Nation’s most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment.

Since 1996, Adelaide Botanic Garden has hosted tens of thousands of South Australian school students as well as their teachers and caregivers at what is now the state’s largest World Environment Day event.

On June 5 2017, three thousand Reception (Prep) to Year 7 students were greeted with perfect weather and participated in a range of interactive environmental presentations covering important topics from Aboriginal tools for living, preserving endangered species and native bees and spiders, through to worms and compost, food security and feral invaders. Continue reading “World Environment Day Celebrations at Adelaide Botanic Garden”