New Botanic Garden Glasshouse Officially Opens

Published on 29 June 2022

Opening event - VIPs.jpg

Pictured above at the opening are - Pat Conaghan MP, Gurmesh Singh MP, Nola Miles President of the Friends of the Botanic Garden, Coffs Harbour Mayor Councillor Paul Amos, Council's General Manager Natalia Cowley, Council's Aboriginal Community Planner Richard Widders
and Horticulturalist Mark Garner from Council's Botanic Garden Team.

The brand new $1.4m Glasshouse at the North Coast Regional Garden has been officially opened.

“The Botanic Garden is often referred to as Coffs Harbour’s best-kept secret, but the reality is that thousands of people every year visit and enjoy this beautiful corner of paradise,” said Coffs Harbour Mayor Councillor Paul Amos who opened the Glasshouse along with Gurmesh Singh MP, Pat Conaghan MP and Nola Miles, President of the Friends of the Botanic Garden.

“And now we have this splendid new Glasshouse which will only see more and more people coming here to discover the wonders of the Botanic Garden.”

The Glasshouse, which was designed by local firm GHD, offers two experiences – a tropical house and a shade house.

Temperature and ventilation is controlled in the tropical house by a passive, energy-efficient system that uses the Sun, thermal heat storage in the stone walls and pathways and computer-controlled louvre vents. This maintains the temperature at around 32 degrees. A nine kilowatt heating system assists during the winter.

The roof and some walls are also fitted with special gel-coated ‘webglas’ to reduce the loss of heat and watering of the plants is provided by a micro spray system.

The adjacent shade house displays the Garden’s extensive bromeliad and orchid collections along with a wide range of ferns and shade-loving species. They are kept cool and damp by the roof, natural air flow, a drip irrigation system and undersoil drainage.

The Glasshouse foyer area is designed as flexible space able to accommodate educational visits and events.

Members of the Friends of the Botanic Garden assisted with the establishment of plants in and around the new facility.

“The Glasshouse is a fantastic addition to the many different experiences the Garden offers visitors all year round,” said Garden Curator Rick Ackland. “It’s a futuristic and very attractive building that showcases some of our shyest exhibits to perfection.”

“The previous coalition government proudly contributed over $782,000 through the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure grant,” said Pat Conaghan MP, Federal Member for Cowper. “The Botanic Gardens have a rich history and is part of the fabric that has grown with Coffs Harbour as an emerging regional city. The renovation project is testament to the vision, passion and dedication of members and volunteers who work, study and educate for the benefit of our beautiful local environment.”

Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh said today’s official opening is a celebratory moment for our community. “The new climate-controlled glasshouse is a centrepiece of our beautiful Botanic Garden which we are so very fortunate to have at the heart of our city. The Garden’s many visitors will enjoy the new glasshouse for many years to come, thanks to the passionate work of the Friends of the Botanic Garden volunteers and Council staff.

“This new building is also testament to the teamwork shown by all three tiers of government, with the NSW Government contributing $597,300.”

The project cost $1,464,096 in total. It was funded from a $782,096 grant from the Australian Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program (LRCIP), a $597,300 grant from the NSW Government’s Crown Reserve Improvement Fund (CRIF) and the balance from Coffs Harbour City Council.