The Garden Route Botanical Garden (GRBG) is located in George, Western Cape and borders the Outeniqua Nature Reserve. The Garden focuses on plants endemic to the Southern Cape region. It also houses the Southern Cape Herbarium, an Indigenous Nursery, the Getafix Garden Cafe, and the Garden Route Environmental Education Centre.
The GRBG is run by a private trust the GRBG Trust – a registered environmental NGO with PBO status. The garden was officially opened 17 years ago by members of the Southern Cape branch of the Botanical Society (Bot Soc), local environmentalists and the community of George.
The object of the trust, as set out in the amended Trust deed (2010), is engaging in the conservation, rehabilitation and protection of the natural environment, including flora, fauna or the biosphere, primarily through the Garden Route Botanical Garden and the Southern Cape Herbarium and by conducting activities that support this objective. Activities are carried on in a non-profit manner and with an altruistic or philanthropic intent for the benefit of the South African Community at large.
The GRBG is a valuable organization, falling within the Southern Cape community. It is the only Botanical Garden in this area. Through its extensive and experienced volunteer base, and its employee’s expertise the GRGB strives to educate the community and raise awareness of the threatened and beautiful flora that surrounds it. The organization, although having continuously faced financial constraints, has achieved in various operations. One such operation is that the organization has successfully rehabilitated a previous alien invasive arboretum to its original natural state of indigenous forest which now forms part of the GRBG. The GRBG has also successfully hosted and implemented various tree planting projects within the garden itself, as well as various other smaller environmental projects in townships around the George area. The GRBG also drives a successful indigenous plant propagation project. These plants are used in the GRBG and sold to the public at the GRBG indigenous nursery. The nursery supplies indigenous, water-wise, plants to the public at nominal prices thereby positively contributing to the Garden Route’s biodiversity.
To display, conserve, rehabilitate, promote, and research the rich but threatened floral diversity of the Southern Cape region for the benefit of the surrounding communities.
- House and catalogue the Herbarium collections in accordance with the norms of Herbaria world-wide.
- By developing awareness of the flora of the region, and by identifying the importance of the flora in the context of community and environmental health, to enable communities to gain a better understanding of the value, to them, of the regional flora.
- Help to instill a better conservation ethic in the region to the benefit of the community and the environment as a whole.
- Generate funds and access donations and sponsorships, in order to cover running costs, build up a Botanical Library, and acquire other essential equipment.