The Fellows wrapped up their time in Melbourne by paying a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens – 38 hectares of mixed plant collections below the Yarra River.
The sun was no match for the swift and shaded buggy tour, courtesy of Chris Cole, Director of Melbourne Gardens. The time with Chris was well-spent, and the Fellows were fascinated by the Working Wetlands Project – a plant-based water filtration island built out of recycled plastics, as well as the Arid Garden – one of many projects designed by on-site landscape architect, Andrew Laidlaw.
Professor Mark McDonnell, Director of the Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology (ARCUE) then provided the Fellows with an overview of urban ecology – the field, the research, and ARCUE’s work within Australia as well as on an international level.
In the afternoon, the Fellows met with Kylie Regester, Manager of Public Programs. The highlight of the discussion was her tour of the Ian Potter Children’s Garden; visitors small and large were encouraged to explore and discover nature through play. Finally, the Fellows were treated to an in-depth dialogue with Professor Tim Entwisle, Director and Chief Executive of the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.
The Fellows are grateful to the staff and administration of Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Melbourne for such a welcoming visit, and hope to return one day to take advantage of their outdoor movie night, which occurs daily during the summer months!