HALLS GAP - The Halls Gap community is being invited to attend a celebration to mark the restoration of the town's botanic garden after it was devastated by the 2011 January floods.
Before the floods, the botanic gardens boasted more than 100 native plants that are endemic to the Grampians region, with a dedicated group of volunteers spending many years establishing, tending and nurturing the gardens during the long drought. The gardens were established in 1998.
The celebration will be held on Tuesday, June 19 from 2.30pm to 4.30pm and will play on the landslide and flooding theme, with 'a landslide of food' including rock scones, mud cake and log tangles.
A 'flood of activities' will also take place for local children including playing with clay and arranging rocks.
Northern Grampians Shire Council has funded much of the restoration of the botanic gardens, including walking track restoration, with a $9,000 grant through National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) funding, with Grampians Flora Botanic Gardens committee and volunteers providing labour.
The NDRRA funding paid for a contractor to re-gravel the walking paths, while the committee sourced and planted the replacement plants, restored and mulched garden beds and spruced up the gardens site.
Grants were also received from the Commonwealth Bank and the Department of Community Development and local in-kind assistance from Parks Victoria and the Halls Gap Recreation Reserve.
Botanic gardens committee chair Margo Sietsma said volunteers have spent the past 18 months working on repairing the gardens.
Mrs Sietsma said that while some of the original plants survived the inundation, many had to be replanted and garden beds and walking tracks rebuilt.
"Our small community group could have never done the work on its own," she said.
"The committee and volunteers are just so grateful and ecstatic to see the garden restored to its former glory and we are really looking forward to celebrating with the community and showing them our wonderful botanic garden."
Northern Grampians Shire Mayor, Cr Dorothy Patton said it was great to see the botanic gardens restored as many years of work had gone into establishing them.
"The Council congratulates the committee and the volunteers on their hard work in repairing the gardens," she said.
"This is one more community flood recovery project that has been completed thanks to NDRRA funding, and the Council is happy to have been able to facilitate the restoration of this community assest."
For more information about the botanical gardens celebrations on June 19 phone Margo Sietsma on 0429 201 139.