Friends of the Botanical Garden to boost fundraising initiatives

Published
12/12/2016 by

Friends of the Botanical Garden, is an initiative of the Stellenbosch University (SU) Botanical Garden to support the activities of the Garden through volunteering, fundraising and acting as an advisory committee.

Friends of the Botanical Garden was formally established in March and recently Ms Catherine de Villiers, spouse of Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University (SU), accepted an invitation to become its first patron.

With roots dating back to 1902, and located on the current site since 1921, the SU Botanical Garden is the oldest university botanical garden in South Africa.

“With more than 3000 species, visitors can see plants from all around the world growing alongside our indigenous Cape flora. The Garden still fulfils various academic functions within the University, but also plays a growing role in supporting various community greening initiatives and providing environmental education, especially to local school groups,” explains Mr Martin Smit, Curator of the SU Botanical Garden.

“With rising pressure on various tertiary institutions it has become a necessity to become more self-sustainable and ensure that the Botanical Garden also flourishes into the next century. With the Garden being located so close to the bustling town centre there has also been a growing need to ensure that the Garden stays a peaceful and safe community hub and for this reason it was also decided to start charging a nominal entrance fee in 2017,” he adds.

Members of the public can become a Friend. Membership cards will be sold in the Botanical Garden’s shop at R50 for basic membership. Members will get a set number of visits (365) per year and will be able to let accompanying persons enter for free under their membership. Students and staff of the university will get automatic membership and their visits will be loaded to their staff or student cards. Non-members will need to pay an entrance fee (R10), part of which will be reimbursed (R5) for any purchases at the shop or restaurant. Groups that make prior arrangement, such as school groups will still be able to visit for free. Friends will also receive invitations to special events and talks.

Options include:

• General members (R50):

  • 365 visits to the Botanical Garden (Friends can bring accompanying visitors with them - subtracted from their visits) 
  • Receive invitations to events and talks

• Supporter members (R500) 

  • Unlimited visits (Friends can bring accompanying visitors with them for free)
  • Free parking on public holidays and weekends at the Old Conservatorium
  • Receive invitations to events and talks
  • Receive invitations to all special functions

• Founder members (R5000 once-off)

  • Life-long membership 
  • Unlimited visits (Friends can bring accompanying visitors with them for free)
  • Free parking on public holidays and weekends at the Old Conservatorium
  • Receive invitations to events and talks
  • Receive invitations to all special functions

For more information on Friends of the Botanical Garden, liaise with Mr Martin Smit at tel 021 808 9209 e-mail mfsmit@sun.ac.za or visit www.sun.ac.za/gardenfriends