Could a Botanical Parkland bring more tourists to town?
Could a Botanical Parkland bring more tourists to town? Contributed

OPINION: Gardens idea taking root

BUILD it and they will come - or so Kevin Costner believed in the movie Field of Dreams. So many dreams and ideas are squashed at the outset - too hard, too costly, can't be done, it won't work here.

I've heard them all. But what happens when people stick to their guns? For some time now there has been a growing push to build a botanic garden on the Granite Belt.

Now, I realise gardening is not everyone's cup of tea but take a moment to think outside the box.

There have been studies all over the world as to the benefits of Botanic Gardens and the list is endless.

A simple visit to a Botanical Gardens can lead to stress relief and relaxation (and who of us can't do with a little of that). Imagine getting our school children involved in the concept.

We all know that the Granite Belt is a prime tourism destination. Why not give people another reason to visit - one that is open 365 days a year and changes with every approaching season.

Since this idea was presented several months ago, I have been watching with great interest as other regions in Australia have presented their own take on a Botanical Garden (personally I like the term Botanical Parkland). Emerald has a dedicated 42 hectares of Botanical Gardens that has been a work in progress since 1987.

Port Augusta established a Botanic Garden in 1993 and earlier this year Chinchilla began work on its Botanic Parklands. Each of these regions has faced their share of "knockers” and at times felt like hanging up their shovels. But they persevered and as a community worked together to pull off a mammoth task.

We only have to look around at what we have achieved on the Granite Belt in our past to know, that as a community, we are capable of anything we set our minds to. And if we are to see our humble little region grow and prosper, adding a Botanical Parkland to our diversified, layered region might be just what we need... because sometimes a garden is more than just a garden.

Watch this space.

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