The BGPA continues to work toward implementation of the current five year management plans for Kings Park and Botanic Garden and Bold Park. Implementation of both current plans is on track within available resources.
With four years completed of the five year term of the Kings Park and Botanic Garden Management Plan 2009-2014, planning for the 2014-2019 period commenced in early 2013. A review of progress against the current plan was completed, which informed initial internal workshop discussion around the priorities for the next five year period.
The BGPA plans to follow its established process for management plan review and development through 2013/14, including an external stakeholder workshop, preparation of a draft plan and an advertised two-month public submission period for the draft. The final plan will be released in July 2014.
BGPA Strategic Plan
The BGPA’s Strategic Plan 2009-2014 identifies the functions, vision and mission statements, core business and guiding principles, which are the key elements in delivering its agency-level government desired outcomes. Annual review of the Strategic Plan was undertaken in May 2013, and no material changes were required.
Significant review was commenced in 2013, aiming to better align the BGPA’s Strategic Plan and Management Plans for both Kings Park and Botanic Garden and Bold Park. The Strategic Plan review will be finalised in early 2014 for the next five-year period 2014-2019.
Botanic Garden Review
In preparation for the 50th Anniversary of the Western Australian Botanic Garden in 2015, the BGPA commissioned an independent review of the Botanic Garden development and achievements since 1965.
This review was chaired by Mark Richardson, with the review panel comprising Mark Richardson, Professor Stephen Hopper and Dr Phillip Moors. Recommendations from this February 2013 review are being considered in the planning for the forthcoming Botanic Garden Masterplan (2013/14) and the celebration of 50 years as a Botanic Garden in 2015.
The BGPA continues to benefit from a number of sponsorships which provide medium to long term support for key projects. While each sponsorship agreement is unique, overall they are characterised by shared business values and mutual benefits.
Rio Tinto continues its long term support as naming sponsor of Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park (2008 – 2020). Now in its second year of operation, this facility has proven to be an immensely popular community asset for families and schools. This active partnership has provided a range of leveraging opportunities for Rio Tinto and several in-kind benefits to the BGPA in addition to the funding component of the agreement.
The Water Corporation also continues its valued partnership (2009 – 2015) for Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park, with a focus on supporting environmental education.
The 2012/13 year has seen the renewal of three existing partnerships for a second term, demonstrating their strength and success to date:
Variety WA has agreed to support a Phase 2 development at the Saw Avenue Picnic Area (due for completion in late 2014). With a strong theme of ‘community’, the upgrade will expand and enhance the play and picnic facilities in this area to appeal to visitors from all walks of life, including those with disabilities and other special needs. The second term of this agreement is from 2013 – 2017.
Santos has been confirmed as Major Partner of the Kings Park Festival for the period 2013 – 2015 in the second term of its sponsorship. The Festival continues to build its reputation in the community and attracts more than half a million visitors over the month-long program.
Synergy has renewed its sponsorship of the highly popular Synergy Parkland (2012 - 2017). This parkland play area attracts in excess of one million visitors each year, providing excellent exposure to Synergy’s key market of local families.
Together, the Friends of Kings Park and Lotterywest have provided important grants for the Kings Park Festival from 2012 – 2014, and continue their support of Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park. These two organisations have been instrumental in delivering several important capital works projects in Kings Park and Botanic Garden in the past, and the BGPA looks forward to a continued strong connection with both organisations in future.
The Friends of Kings Park celebrate 20 years of service in 2013 and they continue to make a substantial contribution to Kings Park and Botanic Garden in a variety of ways, including volunteering, scholarships, advocacy and funding. In 2012/13, the Friends also provided a total of $47,000 to fund a BGPA science project looking at Spinifex, a new soil trailer for the nursery and seven new drinking fountains for visitors.
The West Australian newspaper provided invaluable support to the 2012 Kings Park Festival, maximising public awareness of the Festival across Perth and regional Western Australia.
The volunteer groups of both Kings Park and Botanic Garden and Bold Park provide essential visitor services and support to a variety of BGPA programs. To ensure the long-term sustainability of the volunteer organisations, the BGPA has developed a collaborative approach to volunteering activities. A number of strategies have been implemented including maintaining effective communication between BGPA and each of the volunteer groups, recruitment strategies, training programs and continued planning for the future growth of volunteering in Kings Park and Botanic Garden and Bold Park.
The BGPA volunteer groups have shown continued growth this year with an increase in the number of volunteers participating in a variety of activities that directly support the goals of the BGPA in delivering essential visitor services and environmental conservation.
Membership of the Friends of Kings Park has grown steadily through the year. Both the Kings Park Volunteer Guides and Kings Park Volunteer Master Gardeners commenced training new recruits in 2013. Both courses offer a schedule of weekly half day lectures and practical demonstrations over several months, culminating in a formal assessment process.
The Kings Park Volunteer Guides training course concluded in May 2013, with the newest Guides enjoying a special barbeque to celebrate their achievement and reward them for their efforts. This occasion gave new Guides the opportunity to meet experienced Guides Dr Harry Pearson and Mrs Audrey Pearson, who launched their new publication ‘About Kings Park’. Created as an essential education tool for the Kings Park Guides, the Pearsons have created a valuable resource that has captured their years of knowledge and experience. The trainee Kings Park Guides also had an opportunity to tour with BGPA’s Indigenous Cadet Alton Walley to learn more about the traditional uses of plants, as well as gaining a deeper understanding of the Aboriginal people of the Swan River region.
The Friends of Bold Park Volunteer Guides continued to build their program with 30 free guided walks conducted throughout the year. BGPA continued to provide support with active promotion of guided walks including; monthly articles in the Post newspaper, monthly updates on the BGPA website and regular promotion in relevant external newsletters.
The Friends of Bold Park Open Day held in May 2013 proved to be a resounding success with more than 400 visitors. The day provided an opportunity to highlight Bold Park and volunteer opportunities with the Friends of Bold Park, and included a behind-the-scenes look at the Bold Park bushland reserve, free guided walks, family activities and hands-on displays of native wildlife.
Volunteer Information Sessions were held throughout the year. These sessions highlight the full range of volunteering opportunities that are available in both Kings Park and Botanic Garden and Bold Park. Participants are invited to join one or more of the volunteer groups according to their individual interests. These sessions are well attended and effective in increasing community engagement in volunteering.
Each year, the BGPA acknowledges the support and contributions of the volunteer organisations. In August 2012, the Presidents of each of the groups attended a lunch hosted by the BGPA CEO, Mark Webb, to thank them for their dedication and commitment throughout the year. The annual Volunteer Christmas function was held in December 2012 in Kings Park’s new Education facility. The Christmas function is an opportunity for volunteers from each organisation to meet and socialise, and for the BGPA, it is a special time to thank the volunteers for their valuable support during the year and acknowledge long-term volunteers with length of service awards.
The Friends of Kings Park celebrated their 20th Anniversary in 2013. The Friends celebrated their achievement with a special event on 9 May 2013 to commemorate their first meeting in 1993.The BGPA placed an advertisement in the West Australian on 13 May 2013 to publicly recognise its 20-year relationship with the Friends of Kings Park.
A significant event involving all BGPA volunteer groups was the celebration of National Volunteer Week on 19 May 2013. Coinciding with the quarterly Friends of Kings Park Native Plant Sale, all the groups had the opportunity to showcase their organisation. There were many requests from the public for the Volunteer Master Gardeners to identify plant species, and the Friends of Bold Park were able to hand out information in relation to their upcoming Open Day. Thanks to a grant given to the Friends of Kings Park from Volunteering WA and Lotterywest, the volunteers enjoyed morning tea.
BGPA volunteers pride themselves on the excellent services they provide throughout Kings Park and Botanic Garden and Bold Park. BGPA could not function as effectively without the valued help of the many generous and dedicated volunteers. Reports from each of the five volunteer groups are available in Appendix 2 of this report.