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Gatekeepers Cottage Project Update

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Botanikids Convener Julie Bradby, President of the Friends of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens with City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Samantha McIntosh

THE refurbishment of the Gatekeepers Cottage is progressing well, with works commencing on the roof of the historic building.

The City of Ballarat is in the process of re-pitching the roof and re-building the chimneys.

The cottage will also be re-stumped in the coming weeks.

The cottage was relocated to Ballarat’s Botanical Gardens in June after more than 85 years situated at 1414 Gregory Street and the City of Ballarat is currently working with the Friends of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens and local service clubs around options for the full refurbishment and extension of the cottage to ensure it is a functional feature of the gardens.

The City of Ballarat is also looking for community and stakghe partners to fund the project.

It is estimated the Gatekeepers Cottage was erected in the Ballarat Botanical gardens in the late 19th Century.

Earlier this year, Councillors voted to approve the former Gatekeepers Cottage’s return to the gardens.

City of Ballarat Mayor Samantha McIntosh: said, “The Gatekeepers Cottage has a long and strong history with the Ballarat Botanical Gardens and it’s important it remains a significant part of our community into the future.

“A complete refurbishment and extension will see the building used as an education and training facility, primarily for the hugely popular Botanikids.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for a partnership with the community to help fundraise for the extension and really give this building the chance it deserves to be fully-utilised.” Botanikids convener Julie Bradby said when it came to usage of the cottage two words come to her mind ‘interpretation’ and ‘education’.

“So it will be for visitors to the gardens who really want to know more about the plants and what the Botanic Gardens is all about. Why isn’t it just a park, what is the difference between a Botanic Garden and Park and the main point of a Botanic Garden is education?” she said.

“We really don’t have an education centre in Ballarat that talks about plants and sustainable gardening so we will extend it out to that.” The very popular Botanikids will be located in the cottage, as well, and finally be able to have a ‘home’ of their own.

“The generosity of council has been fantastic and then we had the past donors who gifted the cottage to us, which was a generous gift, and then of course the generosity of one of our members who gave us $40,000 to move it here and I want to keep the spirit of that community generosity giving back,” Ms Bradby said.%%%%