The significant commercial value of the Garden Route region, its mild climate and astonishing wealth of biodiversity were all instrumental in the creation of the Garden Route Botanical Garden Trust (GRBGT). The notion of the Garden was originally mooted during the 1960’s. The idea persisted until finally during the early 1990’s, a branch of the Botanical Society of South Africa was founded by a group of local members and their first project was the establishment of the GRBG which eventually became the independent Non-profit organisation (NPO) (NPO 009-676) the Garden Route Botanical Garden Trust (GRBGT) (Trust No IT 2704-97). The GRBGT is based at 49 Caledon Street, George.
As the age of technological advance accelerates, George is likewise experiencing rapid growth. Offering a magnificent environment and sound infrastructure, technology makes it possible to conduct business regardless of where one resides. These factors make George a very attractive destination both for business people and retirees, which has resulted in the city’s very rapid growth over the past 20+ years.
While economic growth is the lifeblood of any city, conversely this triggers an almost insatiable appetite for land – both for business and residential purposes to keep pace with the resultant population growth. This fact was recognised many years ago and maintaining the biodiversity of the region necessitated the preservation of our natural history in tandem with the development of our city. This is particularly true in respect of activities which offer opportunities for:
Biodiversity Conservation – Plant and animal communities losing ground to encroaching human activities
Outdoor biodiversity Education – hands on learning experiences aligned with school curricula as well as adult education
Tourism – the GRBG has over time attracted many foreign tourists many of whom have much more than a passing interest in our region’s plant life
Heritage Conservation – maintaining George’s rich cultural and historical heritage
Recreation – a place of tranquillity and beauty, where tourists and locals alike can benefit from being outdoors in a multi-dimensional environment reflecting the impressive biodiversity of the Garden Route
In the above context therefore a major function of the GRBG is to both maintain the genetic material of our region’s flora and vegetation (for research and future rehabilitation projects) and to create a living collection of these plants of the Garden Route (for environmental education of the ever increasing population of the region and to create a safe haven for plants, animals and people). Hence the need to maintain a Botanical Garden of high quality is of integral importance.
The sole and principal object of this NPO is engaging in the conservation, rehabilitation and protection of the natural environment, including the flora and fauna of the biosphere primarily through the Garden Route Botanical Garden and the Southern Cape Herbarium. These aims are fulfilled by means of a number of projects which the Garden Route Botanical Garden drives.
These projects include the following
- A sustainable harvesting project in which we encourage the sustainable harvesting of indigenous medicinal plants within the Garden Route Botanical Garden
- Environmental education through outreach programmes (such as tree plantings) and by means of the Garden Route Environmental Education Centre
- Maintaining and displaying a living collection of the highly diverse plant species found within the Southern Cape. This is of the most important aims of a Botanical Garden which needs to be maintained in the highest quality, both genetically and aesthetically in order to preserve the significance of the collection with regards to both environmental education and aesthetic appeal.
Due to the importance of this activity in order to ensure the functionality and beauty of a botanical garden, it is a priority for the GRBGT. It is currently a major project driven by an excited and driven team to bring the standards of the GRBGT’s living collection up to the international standards for which we strive. This has involved redesigning many beds in our garden, creating relevant interpretative signage and accessioned (recorded) plant labels, and accessing and propagating the relevant plant material.
Since the GRBGT is a Trust driven NPO depending largely on sustained consistent funding this highly significant project is currently unable to generate the vital energy input that we are anticipating with the help of your company.
In this context we propose that your company sponsor a thematic bed or beds in the GRBGT. The themed bed will be entirely your preference. You’ll have a number of choices, e.g.:
Afromontane forest beds
Every bed has a specific theme and a detailed management plan dictating its use to facilitate environmental education and increasing awareness regarding the importance of preservation of indigenous plants of the Southern Cape. These plans will be used within our education plans in conjunction with the Garden Route Environmental Education Centre. We appeal for your support in providing funds for developing the bed (extra man power and a contribution to the purchase and propagation of accessioned plant material), maintaining the bed (additional labour to assist our staff) and interpretative signage.
There are a number of ways in which we will acknowledge your support of this cause. As a registered NPO/PBO (Public Benefit Organisation), your donation will qualify for a tax exemption certificate. We will also offer space on all interpretative signage in the bed/s you sponsor to acknowledge your company’s contribution to the Garden. In addition we would also offer free membership of the garden for up to 10 of your staff. The various project options you can choose from are attached.
To acquire a detailed description of each garden bed and its significance, please contact Finn Rautenbach using the following email: Manager@botanicalgarden.org.za
Sincere thanks for your time and consideration in supporting the Garden Route Botanical Garden.