15 March 2009 will be the first open day at the Canberra International Arboretum and Gardens giving members of the public an exciting opportunity to experience the unique 250 hectare park, just five minutes from the centre of Canberra.
The Canberra International Arboretum and Gardens has been nurtured by the ACT Government and Canberra community after the then pine plantation was devastated in the 2003 Canberra bushfires.
100 forests and 100 gardens are planned for the Arboretum. 11,436 endangered, threatened or symbolic trees from Australia and around the world have been planted at the arboretum so far in 20 forests.
Like all arboreta, the plantings are experimental and the selection of trees is designed to preserve the biodiversity suited to Canberra’s climate and soils. Another 80 forests have been planned for planting in the coming years.
Friends of the Canberra International Arboretum and Gardens Inc. will be holding the inaugural Festival of the Forests to celebrate the completion of the first stage of plantings, roads and the 37.2 megalitre dam as part of celebrating Canberra Week. It is planned to hold the Festival on an annual basis – the first Festival has a focus on sustainability, conservation and biodiversity. The day will be a Gold Coin donation Family Fun day, and will feature events for the whole family including a concert program, fun run, expert talks, exhibits and tree planting. There will be examples of the new National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia, and continuous guided bus tours around the site throughout the day. Throughout 2009, the Friends continue to undertake volunteer training sessions, working bees and bus tours at the Arboretum.