HOW ARE YOUR PARKS, GARDENS & ARBORETA FARING?
AAFBG has established an opportunity for our members to exchange information on matters of common interest. This has been triggered by the current conditions many of our gardens, parks and arboreta are facing.
This summer is already the subject of a great deal of attention - locally, nationally and internationally. We have seen frequent media reports on the destruction and distress in some areas. Most parts of the country have experienced high temperatures, persistent smoke and ash in the air, lower than average rainfall and strong winds. The Bureau of Meteorology’s official Annual Climate Statement for 2019 declared that year was both the warmest and driest on record for Australia.
The official BoM outlook is for temperatures during February to April to be above average across almost all of Australia. There is an equal chance the rest of summer and autumn will be wetter or drier than average for most of the country. The only good news is that most of Australia's external climate influences are now neutral,
but that does not lessen the damage already done and the need to be prepared for the future. Many of us will know someone who has lost property through fire or has lost crops or particularly significant plants through drought.
The AAFBG Management Committee is aware of what damage has occurred at some of our members’ sites. We also hear about the local successes by members in protecting collections from the worst effects of drought and hot winds.
Other AAFBG members might like to comment on the effect of the current extreme heat, winds and, in some cases fires, on their respective gardens, parks and arboreta. This may not be as immediate damage but the effect on visitor numbers, scheduled work, volunteer numbers available when required, watering etc. We want to ensure all AAFBG members have the chance to share their experiences – good and bad. To that end, the AAFBG has established a link on our website at www.friendsbotanicgardens.org and invites all member organisations to post comments on how they are managing to maintain their collections under the current conditions.
We will continue to welcome individual observations or comments from members through email to email@example.com. Along with many other community groups, the AAFBG expresses solidarity with its members across the country and hopes this small gesture might help those in need of some advice and reassurance that we can all continue to contribute to the care of our gardens, parks and arboreta during the tough times.