The Longwood Fellows were up bright and early this morning for their day at Booderee Botanic Gardens and National Park.
The Fellows’ goal for this International Experience is to explore how Australian public gardens are evaluating the impact of educational and outreach programs, and Booderee Botanic Gardens is a unique example.
Originally an annex of the Australian National Botanic Gardens, the land containing Booderee Botanical Gardens and National Park was successfully acquired by Wreck Bay Aboriginal community in 1995, and is the only Aboriginal owned botanical garden in Australia (and possibly the world).
The Fellows began the day with Stig Pedersen, Booderee’s Acting Botanic Gardens Curator, who provided valuable context in the form of the history and structure of the botanical gardens. Booderee Botanic Gardens carries out its mission of cultural education through Indigenous led interpretive tours, as well as educational programs and training for the local Wreck Bay community.
The Fellows were able to experience one of these tours, led by Indigenous interpreter Kain Ardler, who has an extensive knowledge of Aboriginal plants that has been handed down through the generations. A favorite of the day was learning about the uses of the Paperbark Tree, which can be wrapped around fish before cooking.
The Fellows would like to thank Stig Pedersen, Kain Ardler, and the rest of the staff at the Booderee Botanic Gardens and National Park, for a warm welcome to the land.