ARS Victoria Newsletter – April 2011
At Sassafras the rainfall for January was 115.5 mm, for February 246 mm and for March to date 133mm with 4 days to go. That means the rainfall over summer was 543.5 mm and for the first 3 months of this year 495 mm. These are well above average. It has also been far colder than average (despite some contrary comment I have heard from the Bureau of Meteorology). We have found it desirable to turn on our heating on quite a few days over the last 3 months (something we would normally never do over summer) whereas in previous years we were far more likely to wish we had air conditioning. This has been reflected by a summer without any burning off restrictions. Remarkable! One year hardly makes for a trend but let?s hope it?s a sign of a return to longer term weather trends.
Attendances at the NRG for the 9 months since July are well above 60,000. This is a massive increase on previous years where I understand the annual attendances were more like 28,000. Much of this is of course because the gardens are now free entry but I like to think that the effort we have been putting in to publicising the gardens have also made a contribution. Of course this strengthens our argument that the gardens should be declared a first tier cool climate botanical garden. On this score, we have delayed approaching the new Liberal Government firstly because they needed some time to settle into office and then because of the massive floods in northern Victoria. Our request would surely have seemed somewhat trivial in the light of this major unfolding tragedy. But, as things settle down, we hope to continue our campaign. The historical DVD that we produced of the gardens is now on sale at the NRG gift shop although sales so far have been slow. Parks still think they will sell appreciable numbers during the spring peak blooming period.
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