Open Gardens Australia pulling up stumps

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THE Open Gardens Australia Board of Directors has decided to make the 2014-2015 season the not-for-profit organisation’s last.

The decision was made in light of developments in the economy and technology that have seen Open Gardens Australia experience increasing financial pressures over a number of years, leading to uncertainty for its long-term viability.

CEO, Liz White, says Open Gardens Australia has made an enormous contribution to the Australian community’s enjoyment of gardens and gardening over its 27-year history.

“Supported by wonderful volunteers and a passionate gardening community, OGA has partnered with garden owners to open almost 20,000 gardens, and raise more than $6 million for charities and local causes,” Liz said.

“Though we are sad to bring the OGA story to a close, we are incredibly proud of the contribution we have made in this country.

“We have been a big part of creating a sharing and inclusive community of garden lovers, and inspired many gardeners to try new and innovative things in their own patch.

“We have also raised millions of dollars for charities, and poured thousands more dollars back into local communities, to nurture people’s passion for gardening at a local level.

Australia’s Open Garden Scheme was founded in 1987, based on the model used by the National Garden Scheme in the UK. With a high quality program and an eager audience, the organisation soon became well established and started channelling excess funds into community garden projects, by way of an annual grants program.

Chair, Andrew Buchanan, says over the years many community groups, garden clubs, charities and individuals have adopted similar models, opening private gardens to raise money for various causes.

“Our mission is to be a source of inspiration, and to share our love of gardens and gardening with others,” Andrew said.

“That many groups have successfully adopted our model so that they can do what gives us all so much pleasure, makes OGA immensely proud.”

Open Gardens Australia’s current program will continue as planned, with a diverse schedule of openings and events across most states until May or June 2015.

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