NEW SEASON: The mayor, councillors and staff join Friends of Noosa Botanic Gardens members on a guided walk.
NEW SEASON: The mayor, councillors and staff join Friends of Noosa Botanic Gardens members on a guided walk. Alan Lander

Councillors walk the walk

THE guided walks around Noosa's Botanic Gardens at Lake Macdonald have become so popular that Noosa's mayor, CEO and some councillors last week decided to try one.

More than 50 people undertook the Summer Walk last January, and it's hoped a similar number will take the Autumn Walk on April 22.

Led by members of the gardens' Friends group, there was plenty of colour to see last Thursday as the first tendrils of autumn creep into the region.

Friends events co-ordinator Jill Brownlee told the audience the group was training new walk guides for the growing number of attendees, as well as recruiting new garden volunteers.

"We now have two more males - and they are under 70,” she said.

Ms Brownlee said completion of the new propagation area had been hampered by the constant showers but $30,000 had been raised to ensure it happened.

"Our biggest fundraiser is the Plant Fair held every Fathers Day,” she said.

"We got about 2000 visitors last time.”

The group is thinking about how to gain donations from visitors in new ways.

"We had a donation box where we got about $60 a month, but it was broken into and money stolen three times,” Ms Brownlee said.

Mayor Tony Wellington said the walk had been "an opportunity to learn more about the Friends and the garden itself”, and council was assisting in its maintenance since taking over the management.

"There's a new design for the Shed House, which contains lovely orchids donated by the Noosa and District Orchid Society,” he said.

"We are also looking after ongoing maintenance and improvements.”

Ms Brownlee said she hoped the Autumn Walk on April 22 would be as popular as the summer one.

"We had 54 people on the Summer Walk, and we hope to have a similar number for autumn, to catch all the magical colour changes in the gardens,” she said.

For more information on the autumn walk and others, go to http://noosabotanic gardensfriends.com and look on to the upcoming events page.


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