Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope, today commemorated the official opening of Stage 2 of the Southern Tablelands Ecosystems Park (STEP) garden at the National Arboretum by planting the first understorey species at the site.
“STEP has a vision, an applaudable vision, to create a community-based regional botanic garden, education and ecosystem recovery centre specifically for Canberra and the surrounding Southern Tablelands,” Mr Stanhope said.
“This project aims to enhance the quality and availability of practical and scientific knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the ecosystems and species of the Southern Tablelands.
“With this vision in mind STEP is establishing a garden at the National Arboretum representing the grassy woodland ecosystem of the Southern Tablelands, a significant conservation corridor linked with the reserve system of the region, and a cultural and social centre for visitors displaying a rich and interactive biodiversity experience of the ecosystems of the region.”
The ACT Government provided $16,000 grant to progress Stage 2 of the STEP garden through the 2010 – 2011 Environment Grants funding round.
The ACT Government has funded the Environment Grants program since 1997. Every year, grants are provided for community-based environment projects which complement delivery of the Government’s environmental priorities.
These priorities include support for community engagement in implementing nature conservation strategies, including action plans for threatened species and ecological communities such as grasslands and woodlands, and encouraging local involvement in environmental activities that could extend to bush or urban park rehabilitation and recovery campaigns.
“The STEP garden is just one example of the many great initiatives that have been made possible through the ACT Environment Grants,” said Mr Stanhope.
“These initiatives will make a positive contribution to the continuing growth and development of the National Arboretum and demonstrates the Canberra community’s great involvement and interest in protecting and enhancing our natural environment into the future.”
Minisiter’s Media Contacts:
Jess Wurf 6205 0504 0411 772 700 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kanchan Dutt 6205 8500 0401 563 532 Kanchan.Dutt@act.gov.au
The original media release is available here.