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Discuss about the Botanic Gardens Tourist Management Strategies.

The “City Botanic Gardens” is one of the heritages gardens which are located in the Brisbane, Australia. It is bordered by the Alice Street, Brisbane River, Parliament House, George Street and Queensland University (Brisbane.qld.gov.au, 2016). The Gardens display most mature gardens in Brisbane with some rare botanic species. The collection of garden includes rare collection of palms, cycads, bamboo and figs. The site was added to the “Queensland Heritage Register” on 1997. The site is being described as most significant “non Aboriginal cultural” landscape in the heart of Queensland. The site is known to have a continuous horticultural heritage which has suffered minimal land loss area or modification in use (Cowell, 2015). The site is considered as a premier “public heritage park” which is used for recreational facility. The park is comprises of three main sections such as Queens Park, Botanic Gardens and former Government domain (Brisbane.qld.gov.au, 2016). The gardens are bordered with mature trees which create avenues as well as grooves. The site provides ample avenues for recreational activities such as lake, gardens, formal lawns and structures (Brisbane.qld.gov.au, 2016). The site successfully displays the evolution pattern of the Queensland history. It also comprises of the endangered components of the cultural history of Queensland. There are several varieties of plants at Queensland that are ornamental in nature or agricultural which can be traced back to the “Brisbane Botanic Gardens”. This site is an important component in displaying particular class characteristics of particular cultural place (Sutherland, 2014). There are several historic structures in the park such as band pavilion, Walter Hill Drinking Fountain, boundary stone walls, bear pit shelter and cast iron railings (Brisbane.qld.gov.au, 2016). The site also presents aesthetic significance which provides visual amenity and values comprising of natural wildlife (Brisbane.qld.gov.au, 2016). There has been strong association of the culture, community and spiritual components with this park. The park is a common place for several social events as well as popular tourist description.

The heritage site has provided with ample cultural solutions to the general public. However, the site faces the issues of urban conservation. There have been inadequate conservation measures towards the natural botanical habitants. This creates challenges for the park authorities. There are issues with the erosion and conservation of the plants. The nutrient levels get degraded that comprise of damage due to pet waste, fertilizers and pollution (Miller et al., 2016). There is degradation of the natural land cover. There are issues with the horticulture research that is faced by the heritage park. It doesn’t engage in sufficient scientific research. The park provides limited opportunities for the education of the school as well as college students. There are not enough facilities for the purpose of education regarding the plants and the natural habitats. The garden is prone to the damaging effect of the climate change (Derkzen, Van Teeffelen & Verburg, 2017). The plants need healthy atmosphere to survive for a long period. The environmental damage is having an adverse effect on the maintenance of the botanic habitats. The botanic garden is facing the issue of water shortage. The increased human demand has reduced the water supply on which the plants are dependant. The botanic garden faces constant challenges of lack of funds which creates difficulty for smooth functioning of the garden. The lack of funds creates problems in the operation of the garden (Moody, 2013). The authorities are unable to perform routine maintenance of the gardens due to limited funds (Derkzen, Van Teeffelen & Verburg, 2017). They are also unable to carry out any beatification project for the garden. This makes the garden unable to attract tourists in large numbers. The garden management is unable to protect the park from overuse which often causes exploitation of the plant life. The non-development of the botanical life is a matter of concern for the garden authorities. This implies that the existing botanical life would not be replaced by newer ones which would decrease the value of the garden (Thorpe, 2014). The non-addition of the plants would lead to stagnant position of the botanical garden.

Key Literature

The site also faces the issue of littering and vandalism. There are instances when the garden authority has received complaints of littering. There are instances when the waste material, rubbish, glass, paper, debris and the garbage are spread here and there within the garden authorities. The public often litter on the sidewalks, alleys and the streets of the botanic garden. There are commercial wastes which are always disposed at the garden premises. There are often instances of vandalism which occur at the garden premises. It is often seen that there are ruthless acts of damage to the garden properties which often causes issues for the garden management. The unlawful destruction of the properties of the garden authorities has caused issues in the past.

Erosion and conservation of the plants- In Australia, there is significant development in the science and development field which have increased the participation of the farmers in the innovative systems (Uphoff, 2013).

Horticulture research- The horticulture science societies have successfully managed to implement a large number of changes in fields such as ecology, botany, genetics, plant physiology, plant breeding and others.

Limited opportunities for the education- There are botanic gardens which engage in education of the common people including the school going students. They impact learning based on the importance of the plants and the global ecosystem at large. The information should be provided on the plant species distribution and plant taxonomy (Anbg.gov.au, 2016).

Climate change- The botanic gardens face constant challenges of the climate changes which have major impact on the natural ecosystem. The International Agenda of the Botanic Gardens in conservation has led to clarify the roles of the botanic garden in international market (Anbg.gov.au, 2016). One key role identified in the process is the conservation of plant. Emphasis is also being laid on the providing safety net through the process of living plant collections and seed banks as well as germplasm collections (Anbg.gov.au, 2016).

Water shortage- The concerned authorities are engaging in water conservation measures that emphasis on the reduced water consumption. The trees as well as plants are of great cultural value and the survival of the plants is dependent on the water supply. In the Royal Botanic Gardens of Australia, the turf areas are being converted to the “warm season grasses” such as Kikayu (Rbg.vic.gov.au, 2016). They are more water efficient than others.

Lack of funds- The botanic gardens strive to aim for international investors and try to engage in international partnerships in the horticulture sector (Beer, 2016). There should have supplement activities as well as programs which would lead to greater revenue generation.

Suggestions for Improvement

Overuse- The biodiversity should be used to improve the current condition of the botanic gardens and a conscious effort has been made to reduce the exploitation on the plants (Beer, 2016).

Non-development of the botanical life- A dedicated effort of garden restoration should be carried out to preserve the native plants and increase the diversity of the plants (Beer, 2016).

 It is important to implement changes in the day to day functioning of the botanic garden so that the necessary problems can be solved. The erosion as well as conservation of the plants is of utmost importance which should be given utmost importance. The development of the science would enable the conservation of the plants in the botanic garden. The garden authorities should focus more on the research concerning the horticulture and the related disciplines such as genetics, botany, plant breeding, plant physiology. The authorities should concentrate more on the education opportunities, which would increase the attraction of the botanic garden. The garden should engage in devising strategies which would fight against the increasing climate change. It should also concentrate on the conservation of water and increase the areas which focus on warm season grasses.  The garden authorities should concentrate on the generation of funds through different sources. The private donors as well as the corporate sponsorships should be focused on so that the garden can have smooth functioning. It would also try to make conscious effort towards maintenance of the garden. An increased effort should be undertaken for the development of the botanical life. Both hard and soft approach of management should be taken for improving the current situation. The littering should be strictly penalized and strict supervision should be done that would ensure no person can engage in unlawful activities. This is a hard approach which needs to be implemented. If anyone found doing littering, then strict fine should be imposed on them. The issue of vandalism should be dealt with strict action and if necessary, adequate legal action should be taken. A soft approach may also be taken which would ensure that the garden authorities would ensure that sufficient sign boards are put on the garden which would educate the tourists.

Conclusion

The City Botanic Garden is one of the most popular heritage gardens in the Australia. There is great collection of natural botanic collection in Australia. There are several problems with the botanic site which are discussed in detail. There are several issues discussed such as erosion as well as conservation of the plants, issues with horticulture research, limited opportunities for education purposes, climatic variations, water shortages, issues with financing, exploitation of the plant life, littering, vandalism and the non-development of the botanic life. The concluding part of the report has given suitable suggestions to improve the current problems.

References

Australian National Botanic Gardens - Botanical Web Portal. (2016). Anbg.gov.au. Retrieved 29 December 2016, from https://www.anbg.gov.au

Beer, D. (2016). The Australian national botanic gardens. Australian Garden History, 28(1), 24.

Brisbane City Council. (2016). Brisbane.qld.gov.au. Retrieved 29 December 2016, from https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au

Cowell, J. (2015). Brisbane: Our active, healthy city. Australasian Parks and Leisure, 18(2), 38.

Derkzen, M. L., Van Teeffelen, A. J., & Verburg, P. H. (2017). Green infrastructure for urban climate adaptation: How do residents’ views on climate impacts and green infrastructure shape adaptation preferences?. Landscape and Urban Planning, 157, 106-130.

Miller, J. S., Lowry, P. P., Aronson, J., Blackmore, S., Havens, K., & Maschinski, J. (2016). Conserving biodiversity through ecological restoration: the potential contributions of botanical gardens and arboreta. Candollea, 71(1), 91-98.

Moody, E. J. R. (2013). The Implementation of Community Gardens to Address Interconnected Problems Related to Food Deserts in Urban Memphis, Tennessee.

Rbg.vic.gov.au (2016). Home | Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria. Rbg.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 29 December 2016, from https://www.rbg.vic.gov.au

Sutherland, A. (2014). Playful access. Australasian Leisure Management, (105), 58.

Thorpe, D. (2014). The'one Planet'Life: A Blueprint for Low Impact Development. Routledge.

Uphoff, N. (Ed.). (2013). Agroecological innovations: increasing food production with participatory development. Routledge.

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