Financial support for the Gardens

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The main aim of the Friends is to support the Gardens, and financial support is a very important part of how we do that. Since the Friends was formed in 1990 we have contributed $1.3 million in financial support.

Here is a complete list of all the projects we have supported since the Friends was established in 1990, along with the amount we provided for each. More projects are now in the pipeline, including these projects that have been approved by the Gardens and the Friends and are awaiting completion:

  • Plant Finder app for smart phone and tablet ($15,000)
  • Eucalypt Discovery Walk revamp ($3,800)
  • Banksia Garden, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Gardens in 2020 ($100,000)
  • Interpretation plan for Conservatory ($15,000)
  • Provision of Seed Bank equipment (Public Fund) ($24,880)
  • Norfolk Island Project ($15,000 a year for 3 years)

In consultation with Gardens’ management, we have a process to identify and assess potential projects that we will fund. That involves a regular call for Gardens’ staff to put forward projects for funding by the Friends, which now normally happens twice a year. Proposals must be consistent with the ANBG Management Plan and supported by the Executive Director. We envisage spending at least $20,000 a year on a major project (or spread a greater amount over several years), and up to another $20,000 a year on several minor projects. A subcommittee of members of the Friends assesses proposed projects and makes recommendations to Council for final decision. The full details of that process are available here.

In financially supporting the Gardens, we try to spread our support across as wide a range as possible of the Gardens’ roles and functions: horticulture, scientific research, aesthetic and visitor experience. Some of the more significant projects we have funded include:


  • ferns and palms for the rainforest gully
  • redevelopment of the Ellis Rowan Garden
  • re-location of a mature bottle tree to the Gardens’ front entrance
  • macrozamias for the main concourse
  • redevelopment of the Asteraceae Garden (a current project)
  • staff field trip to source threatened and endangered plants for the Rainforest Gully

Scientific and research

  • alpine plants research project, in conjunction with the Gardens and the ANU – the Friends contributed $66,000 over a 3-year period and the Australian Research Council provided a linkage grant of $253,000
  • signs for the Climate Watch Trail
  • equipment for the Seed Bank


  • ‘Friends Cascade’, alongside the Visitor Centre
  • Rainforest Gully fogging system
  • Sundial on Rock Garden Lawn
  • Rainforest Gully lighting
  • Red Centre Garden artwork – our Centenary of Canberra gift to the Gardens

Visitor experience

  • Flora Explorer electrically powered people-mover
  • Crosbie Morrison Amphitheatre shelter – to mark the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Gardens and the 20th anniversary of the formation of the Friends
  • Birds of the ANBG booklet
  • Aboriginal Plant Use trail
  • bubbler and water bottle filling station
  • upgrading of Theatrette audio-visual system


Click here for a complete list of all the projects we have supported since the Friends was established in 1990, along with the amount we provided for each.

Rainforest Gully lighting, a Friends' project in 2012. (Photo courtesy of Lushpup Images)

Flora Explorer, a Friends' project in 2012 (Photo: Alan Munns)
Flora Explorer, a Friends' project in 2012 (Photo: Alan Munns)