Gar­dens share their se­crets

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - ANNA LOREN

The Auck­land Botanic Gar­dens are ‘‘a lot more than just a park’’, Miche­line New­ton says.

She’s look­ing for­ward to shar­ing its se­crets with the pub­lic on May 29.

The gar­dens will be join­ing 72 oth­ers across New Zealand and Aus­tralia to host a world-first open day.

It is a chance for vis­i­tors to learn more about what goes on day-to-day at their lo­cal botanic gar­dens, ar­bore­tum or pub­lic gar­dens.

Tree ex­pert Mike Wil­cox and cu­ra­tor Bec Stan­ley will lead guided walks at the 64ha site in Ma­nurewa. They will share their knowl­edge about trees and epi­phytes, the plants that grow upon them.

Gar­dens man­ager Jack Hobbs will host work­shops on choos­ing trees for plant­ing, while Auck­land Coun­cil’s bio­di­ver­sity team will be on hand to give free ex­pert ad­vice on build­ing bio­di­ver­sity in home gar­dens.

There will also be ‘tree trail’ scav­enger hunts and tree-themed art ac­tiv­i­ties for kids run­ning through­out the day.

About 80 per cent of vis­i­tors to the site come solely for recre­ation, but the gar­dens also runs re­search projects, ed­u­ca­tion pro­grammes and ef­forts to pro­tect and man­age plants that are threat­ened with ex­tinc­tion.

The open day runs 10am-3pm at the gar­dens at 102 Hill Rd, Ma­nurewa. En­try is free.

PHOTO: ANNA LOREN

Auck­land Botanic Gar­dens vis­i­tor ser­vices man­ager Miche­line New­ton is wel­com­ing one and all to a world-first open day.

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