The Public Fund was established in 2004 as a way for the Friends to receive tax-deductible donations. It operates under provisions of the Income Tax Assessment Act. It is administered by a management committee currently comprising Barbara Podger (Chair), Helen Elliott (Treasurer), Marion Jones, Geoffrey Hay, Sue Serjeantson, Louise Maher and Alan Henderson.
The Public Fund seeks donations to finance worthwhile projects within the Gardens; projects of the kind that could not be financed from the Gardens’ budget. The first project to be financed from the fund was an architect-designed shelter adjacent to the Rock Garden Lawn. It was opened in March 2007 by Her Excellency Mrs Marlena Jeffery.
Subsequent Public Fund projects are:
- Australian Lichen website, which may be found on the Gardens’ website at http://www.anbg.gov.au/lichen/index.html. This was developed by Heino Lepp, Honorary Associate in the Gardens' Cryptogam Herbarium and was officially launched on 10 April 2011.
- Environmental Monitoring Stations to demonstrate different microclimates within the Gardens. One station is in the rainforest gully and another is in eucalypt woodland. Air and soil temperatures, humidity and wind speed are measured, displayed at both sites, and transmitted to a computer display in the Visitor Centre. Data from the two sites are often markedly different. The project was launched on 9 May 2011 by Professor Janette Lindsay of the Australian National University.
- Eucalypt Discovery Walk, jointly financed by the Bjarne K Dahl Trust and the Public Fund. This is a self-guided walk featuring 21 iconic eucalypts growing in the Australian National Botanic Gardens. Each of the 21 trees has an attractive and informative sign describing key features of that species. A printed brochure includes a map of the walking route and more information about eucalypts. The signs were installed in early 2013.
- Termite Mound model in the new Red Centre Garden. This was installed in the Story Hub of the new garden in the second half of 2013. It is a life-sized model of a termite mound and tells the story of the ecological role termites play in nutrient cycling in the Red Centre. Their red sand nests are an iconic feature of the Central Australian landscape.
- Aboriginal Plant Use Trail signage and brochure. This project was opened on 21 January 2016. It consists of signs with line drawings for 28 plants, referring to indigenous publications and linking with information and items in the National Museum. Read more.
Summary listing of completed Public Fund projects:
|2007||Rock Garden Shelter||38,400|
|2011||Environmental Monitoring System||49,000|
|2012-13||Eucalypt Discovery Trail signage||2200|
|2013-14||Model termite mound, Red Centre Garden||10,800|
|2013-14||Reprint and update Eucalypt Discovery Trail brochure||400|
|2015-16||Aboriginal Plant Use Trail, signage and brochure||10,700|
We invite all who admire and enjoy the Gardens to support its development by donating to the Public Fund. A brochure giving details of the Public Fund is available from the Visitors Centre.