FRIENDS of the Noosa Botanic Gardens
- are volunteers with an interest and passion for the Noosa Botanic Gardens
- assist with the maintenance, management and ongoing development of the gardens’ plant collection
- support the users of the gardens for arts and cultural activities
- are a positive link between Noosa Botanic Gardens, the Council and the community
- have links with other organisations like garden clubs with compatible aims
- educate the public about the protection and conservation of plants
- will progress the development and implementation of a Master Plan for the Noosa Botanic Gardens
The FNBG Strategic Plan elaborates upon FNBG’s objectives – to support and assist:
- the display of a diversity of plant life suitable for the in a subtropical setting;
- the conservation of flora and fauna both native and from elsewhere, within the Gardens;
- the development and implementation of a Master Plan for the Gardens;
- the provision of information, education and interpretation to the local and wider community, about the Gardens’ plant collection and other native plants of this region and elsewhere;
- the cataloguing, maintenance and ongoing development of the Gardens collections;
- the establishment of facilities which support the use of the Gardens as an interpretive centre and as a recreational, arts and cultural venue; and
- to be non-political and non-sectarian in all undertakings.
Volunteers come together on a Thurday morning at the Gardens
The Garden Maintenance Team (GMT) carry out a variety of activities each week which include weeding, planting, watering, general tidy, dead heading, pruning, tool use, OHS workshops, and more.
GMT meets at the maintenance shed in the garden compound at the start of the day from 8am (with a 7.30 am start during the hot summer months). They come together for a well deserved morning tea break in one of the shelters at 9.30am.
The propagation team work in conjunction with the GMT, collecting seeds and cuttings from the gardens. Their aim is to add plants to the Gardens’ collection through propagating plants existing in the garden or by sourcing new plants to include in the collection. The Friends’ major funding raising effort is via sale of propagated plants from its facility in the Gardens.
The Friends welcome visitors to join them at morning tea to learn more about the many opportunities to become actively involved. We encourage those interested to talk to our guided walks team who are actively recruiting trainee guides.
History of the Friends
If you have ever taken an invigorating walk or a quiet wander about Noosa Botanic Gardens and been surprised by the sight of a Grecian-inspired amphitheatre looking out over Lake Macdonald or marveled at the tranquil setting and simply beautiful gardens, you have to thank the late Ida Duncan OAM.
Ida was instrumental in establishing Noosa Botanic Gardens; she convinced the Noosa Council of the worth of cleaning up the surrounds of Lake Macdonald, and creating an area for the community to value and enjoy. The first Friends of Noosa Botanic Gardens group was formed around the middle of 1988.
Noosa Council Parks & Gardens Curator, Bob Bickley designed the Gardens. Council staff, trainees and volunteers from the newly formed Friends and other community groups set about the task of clearing and landscaping the gardens site.
Noosa Botanic Gardens was officially opened to the public in 1990 with two full time staff. Volunteers, initially lead by Ida Duncan, undertook many projects within the Gardens over the years, including the construction of the Amphitheatre and the planting out of the area known as the Bicentennial Garden.
Various community groups have also assisted in the laying of the acres of pavers that form the meandering pathways. Garden clubs and other organisations have maintained parts of the gardens, whilst school students, trainees and other community members helped. In those early years, Noosa Botanic Gardens was truly built with community spirit!
In June 2012 under the leadership of Joan Cordell, a revitalized FRIENDS of Noosa Botanic Gardens Inc. was formed, with new energy and an expanded vision, to support the growth and reach of our invaluable community asset into the future.
2012-2014 – Joan Cordell
2014-2016 – Dr. Seonaid Melville
2016-2018 – Paul Plant
2018- current – Jill Brownlee