Wittunga Botanic Garden at Blackwood is set to become even more popular with a new viewing platform and nature play area to be built thanks to $750,000 funding from the Adelaide City Deal.
The deal has already led to the creation of a new accessible lakeside trail and improvements to the lake's beach area, making it easier for visitors to connect with nature.
Federal member for Boothby Nicolle Flint said the Australian Government is investing up to $750,000 in the Wittunga Botanic Garden as part of the $649 million Adelaide City Deal, a 10-year partnership between the Australian and South Australian governments and the City of Adelaide.
“The Australian Government is proud to be supporting local jobs through investment in these beautiful gardens and the creation of a new playspace for families,” Ms Flint said.
“This builds on the broader investment under the City Deal for the Mitcham Hills and Glenthorne area and it is wonderful to see this fantastic project getting underway at the Gardens.
“This funding is part of the Australian Government’s $2 million investment to deliver on upgrades to Adelaide’s natural attractions and encourage residents and tourists to experience the state’s heritage treasures.”
Last year, the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium engaged with the community to discuss the renewal of the Masterplan for Wittunga Botanic Garden, which outlined suggested changes to improve the garden.
Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said feedback from the community is being used to inform a final Masterplan.
“It’s exciting to be developing a new Masterplan for Wittunga and it is wonderful to see the City Deal funding enabling some upgrades at the Gardens immediately,” Minister Speirs said.
“Next year, a platform over the lake will give a new vantage point from which to enjoy nature, and children will be discovering more about the environment through brand new nature play spaces.
“Families and nature-lovers can already enjoy the fruits of this funding through a peaceful walk around the lake perimeter, or for the little ones, paddle play at the lakeside beach.”
The community will soon have more time to enjoy Wittunga with Minister Speirs also announcing Wittunga Botanic Garden will be trialling extended opening hours.
“This community has long sought for opening hours to be extended and I am pleased to announce that from the 31 October 2020, we will deliver longer hours at Wittunga,” Minister Speirs said.
From 31 October 2020, Wittunga Botanic Garden will be open from 8.30am until 7pm during daylight savings and 8.30am until 5pm during non-daylight savings.
Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium Director, Dr Lucy Sutherland, said horticultural staff are also using the funding to renew the plant collections, with a focus on conservation and biodiversity.
“The wide range of South Australian plants on display at Wittunga are climate-adapted and can provide inspiration for sustainable home gardening, especially if you are keen to encourage native butterflies, birds and other wildlife into your neighbourhood” said Dr Sutherland.
Completion of the viewing platform is expected in December 2020 and the new nature play space is due for completion in March 2021.