Not a fan of Zoos, but when discussing great zoos that are in existence, Denver Zoo is pretty spectacular. I’ve been here a few times, the most recent was the free zoo day in October 2016. The Denver Zoo is located in a City Park, near downtown Denver, and is owned by the City and County of Denver. It is just behind the Museum of Natural History and Science. It consists of 80 acres of well maintained grounds housing an assortment of animals from around the world. It was founded in 1896 with the donation of an orphaned American Black Bear. To house the orphan, it became the first zoo in the United States to use naturalistic zoo enclosures rather than cages and bars. The zoo is accredited by the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums and a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, with ISO 14001 certification granted in 2009 and named the Greenest Zoo in the Country in 2012.
In the heart of Australia’s Capital Territory and City of Canberra is the Nation’s most exquisite National Botanical Gardens. Radiating like a gem in the midland plains, this fabulous collection of Eucalypti, plants, trees, shrubs, vines, orchids, and botany is any garden lover’s paradise. It is operated by the Australian Government’s Department of the Environment and Heritage. The park encompasses the largest living collection of native Australian flora in the world. The goal of the center is to understand, study, and promote Australia’s flora locally, regionally, and around the world; hosting a variety of botanical resources for researchers while protecting and cultivating endangered native plants. The Garden was first conceived in Canberra’s development plans of the 1930’s when the Advisory Council set up a framework for its development, planning a large site on Black Mountain. The first trees were planted in September 1949, though not opening its gates until October of 1970. The Gardens encompass over 90 hectares on Black Mountain, of which 40 is currently developed and embracing thematic sections in the park housing plants with shared taxonomy of over 5,500 cultivated species. The Gardens have a Rainforest Gully, a Rocky Garden, A Sydney Region Flora area, A Mallee Plants section, Banksias, waratahs, grevilleas, Callistemon, Leptospermum, Melaleuca, A Eucalypt Lawn, Wattles, and a Research facility, gift shop, and cafe. The National Herbarium is also on site housing the largest collection of dried, pressed, and recorded plant specimens in Australia. The facility manages several large plant databases of Australian plants based on its collections. For any botanist or plant enthusiast, the Botanical Gardens is a must see while in Canberra. “Extroadinary”. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5. Visited on April 24, 2011 by Thomas Baurley.
Australian National Botanical Gardens: Botanical Resource Center
sign at the gardens: “Botanica Resource Center: Plant identification at your fingertips The Botanical resource center is a learning place for visitors to discover, identify, and explore flor of the A.C.T. and southeastern N.S.W. This self help collection is available for use by students, plant surveyors, and people who want to learn more about plants. To explore this library of pressed plant specimens and computer plant identification resources contact the Australian National Botanical Gardens Visitor Centre.”
Bibliography & Recommended Reading:
Australian National Botanical Gardens. ~ About Us. referenced in 2011 from website; ANBG: http://www.anbg.gov.au.
Disatisfied with our beach trip, we wandered over to Werribee Park – and while caught an hour or so of wandering around in the beautiful rose gardens, did not get to cover the mansion and other parts of the park. Highly recommend showing up early for this place not towards the end of the day. This is a site where one can get a grasp of Australia’s pastoral empire by walking amongst Victorian era Italianate-style architecture surrounded by exquisite formal gardens including a spectacular rose garden and open space park lands. The site is a hidden haven for picnickers, garden enthusiasts, botanists, and history buffs. The park consists of a historical mansion in Werribee just outside of Melbourne. It hosts the mansion, the Victorian State Rose Gardens, formal gardens, the Werribee Park National Equestrian Center, the Open Range Zoo, and a comtemporary sculpture walk along the Werribee River. The Mansion is home to a hotel and conference center. Owned and operated by the Victorian government since 1973, the park has become a popular tourist spot since the late 70’s. It was first built in 1874 by Andrew and Thomas Chirnside with an Italian architectural style influencing a large farm. After Thomas committed suicide in the 1890’s, the property was passed on to George who built the Manor. From 1923 until 1973 it operated as a Catholic seminary as “Corpus Christi College”. By 1996 it became a popular backdrop for the English television series “The Genie From Down Under” as well as for an American film called “The Pirate Movie” and the 1976 film “The Devil’s Playground”. The Rose Gardens are grouped into 4 sections – opening first in 1986 in the shape of a Tudor rose with 5 petals with over 252 different roses from around the world. Admission to the gardens are free. The orchard was establised in the 1870’s and renown for its peaches, apples, quinces, pears, grapes, plums, walnuts, and olives. Rating 3 stars out of 5 – visited 4/17/2011.
A beautiful community garden, on the edge of Vermijo Park, downtown Old Colorado City where residents teamed up with the PPUG and funded by the Colorado Home and Garden Show/Care and Share have developed this small unused parcel for a community growing space. It was founded by community member Larry Stebbins who put it all together. Residents in the area can rent plots up to 400 square feet where they can garden and grow vegetables. Community gardens take more committment than a garden in one’s own yard, as the gardener has to visit a couple of times a week with their own tools and supplies rather than step out their back door. However, a perfect solution for the green-thumb types that want a garden but lack yard space to have one. I had the pleasure of seeing this nice space when I visited the wonderful garden as one of the resident Garden Faeries gave a deluxe tour of the plots and invited wanderers from the 2010 Colorado Faerie Festival to come in and offer the nature spirits a rock that they could paint. Very creative constructive idea that added blessings to the garden as well as the festival. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.