SHADY ESCAPE: The Noosa Botanic Gardens are loved by locals.
SHADY ESCAPE: The Noosa Botanic Gardens are loved by locals. Peter Gardiner

Keep local gardens tranquil

LOCALS rate the Noosa Botanic Gardens most highly as a sanctuary and a place to reflect, and the preferred vision is for it to stay that way.

This hinterland asset outside Cooroy on Lake Macdonald was part of a survey of 147 people for Noosa Council botanic gardens master plan process. Coming in third with those surveyed for the parkland future vision was its role as a tourist attraction.

Almost 70 per cent surveyed said they had visited the gardens more than six times in the past year while 27 per cent had volunteered their time to help care for the gardens.

More than 82 per cent said they would like to see more art through the gardens with sculptures and water features their popular choices.

"I want it to be a vibrant community space that encourages young and old to value their environment and find joy in the peace it brings,” one respondent said.

Suggestions for improvement were living sculptures, gardens with rare or collectibles, and a misted moss, water garden or a frog garden.

A local wanted a place for wildlife that welcomed tour groups, training groups and the general public but was "quiet most days for people to enjoy picnics, photography, art and weddings”.

Another said the gardens "still can be busy without leaving the charm behind”.

A further suggestion was: "My overall vision is for multiple areas, some quiet and peaceful and others suited to more tourism-oriented activities.”

Four people suggested a coffee and Devonshire tea-house, while a kiosk was also mentioned.

Value-adding suggestions included biannual or monthly markets, and a walk-through labyrinth.