The WAMA Foundation Inc. is developing a new public garden on the WAMA site located on the Ararat-Halls-Gap road, Pomonal.
The private not-for-profit organisation created to develop a nature based learning and wildlife art precinct, will use $48 000 of funding received from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning as part of the department's Growing Victoria's Botanic Gardens Program.
The two-hectare garden will showcase the majority of over 70 endemic flora species native to the Grampians, attracting a new wave of eco-tourism, that will build a stronger more vibrant region through economic development, tourism and education.
"There is no single location in the Grampians which showcases all endemic species of flora, in an educative, easily accessible manner to the general public," WAMA chairperson Greg Lewin said.
"Over two million visitors come to the Grampians every year, many to enjoy and appreciate the richness of the Grampians flora and wildflower diversity. The WAMA Endemic Garden will create a unique opportunity for tourists, university students and researchers alike to view possibly all of the Grampians endemic plants in the one botanic location."
The garden will include accessible pathways, boardwalks and educational botanical signage promoting nature-based learning and an appreciation of Australia's natural flora.
WAMA is currently working closely with Botanic Gardens Australia and New Zealand and Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria experts John Arnott and Jill Burness.
"The WAMA Endemic Public Garden represents an exciting new living collection of Grampians flora," Royal Botanic Gardens landscape planner Jill Burness said.
"The Grampians are a biodiversity hot-spot in Victoria. The term 'endemic' quite literally means that these plants are unique to the Grampians and as such will be a spectacular showcase for all Victorians and beyond."
The WAMA Endemic Public Garden project forms part of the $6 million master plan for the 16-hectare WAMA site.
Located adjacent to the national heritage listed Grampians, WAMA is a destination project creating a wildlife art precinct that inspires, educates and stimulates our connection with nature. WAMA will build a dedicated wildlife art gallery that explores the interconnection between art and nauture, set within botanic gardens and wetlands, that nutures and protects rare species of plants and animals.
WAMA's aim is to be a unique tourist attraction celebrating the relationship between, art, science and nature.