By Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah
Few people feel so passionate about their work that they’d give up their own free time to help it, but 30 staff from the Royal Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands will walk a collective 380kms over three days to raise money to save plants from extinction.
Deputy executive director (science and conservation) Dr Brett Summerell said: “There’ll be three teams of walkers who’ll set off along different routes and the culmination of the gruelling exercise will be at the Australian PlantBank on the final day.
“The goal is to raise at least $30,000 in order to save Australian plant species from extinction. It costs $2000 to save each plant. The money covers the cost of collecting plant specimens and storing seeds at the Australian PlantBank.
“I’m very proud of our staff, they’re really driven to raise awareness about our beautifully unique and extraordinary native Australian flora, and they’re dedicated to protect them for future generations. We’re asking the public to get behind the teams and support the fundraising initiative.”
State Environment Minister Rob Stokes supports the Save a Species 2015 Walk and said it will go a long way to highlight threats to plant biodiversity in Australia.
“Botanic gardens play a key role in ensuring we conserve plant diversity for the benefit of all and the Australian PlantBank at the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan is at the epicentre of this nation’s efforts to protect our country’s 25,000 native plants from extinction.
“Australia’s ranked fifth in the world for its mega diversity of flora. Our nation is home to 14 per cent of threatened plant species and almost a quarter (23 per cent) are considered in danger of extinction.
“We can’t underestimate the importance of plant diversity, it supports the functioning of all ecosystems and direct benefits include a greater opportunity for medical discoveries, economic development and adaptive responses to climate change.”
On Sunday, April 19, staff from the Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands will join the three teams for the last part of the walk and take part in a 5km walk from the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan main carpark to the Australian PlantBank.
Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens will sponsor the event and all funds raised will go to the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust to help the conservation efforts at the Australian PlantBank, which houses the largest native seed bank in the Southern Hemisphere.
Go to www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au to support the teams.