KwaZulu Natal Inland Branch of the Botanical Society SA

2 Zwartkop Road
Mayor's Walk
KN 3201

KwaZulu Natal Inland Branch of the Botanical Society SA

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The Botanical Society of South Africa (BotSoc) was established in 1913, the same year the now world famous Kirstenbosch Garden was started. The land for the garden, which was left to the nation by Cecil John Rhodes, was allocated for the development of a botanical garden by the South African government on condition that an appropriate organization from civil society was formed to assist with the venture. The Society has faithfully fulfilled this objective, as well as extending assistance and support to the other eight National Botanical Gardens that have subsequently been established around the country. The Society has also championed the cause of wildflower protection and conservation, outside the gardens, through conservation and education programmes, projects and initiatives.

The Society is a registered not for profit organization that has 30 000 members spread across the world.

The Head Office of the Society is situated at Kirstenbosch where a small group of core personnel service and support the branches and manage projects along with the normal administration functions required by a large organization. By being a member of the Society one is part of a large group of individuals from around the world that support the mission and objectives of the Society.

The Society has several branches around the country most of which are associated with the botanical gardens they support. The branches also support the Society with specific programmes of conservation and education. The KwaZulu-Natal Inland Branch encompasses the inland areas of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) from the north to the south, focused around the Pietermaritzburg area and the KZN Midlands. The Branch supports the KwaZulu Natal National Botanical Garden in Pietermaritzburg.

From early on, the KwaZulu-Natal Inland Branch has been involved in environmental education. For many years there were regular scholarly lectures and courses from experts planned, all well attended, and ‘day outings’ were also popular. The Branch also raised funds for the KwaZulu Natal National Botanic Gardens and other causes, through plant sales and other activities. In the late 1980s, the Botanical Society Development Fund for the National Botanic Gardens came into being. Funds were channelled into the Natal Botanic Gardens through this fund, which included the completion of the dam across the Dorpspruit after it was flood-damaged in 1988 and the extensive upgrading of facilities in the garden in the 2000s.

The Branch continues to support the Garden, and in its quest to encourage indigenous gardening, it has incorporated the Pietermaritzburg Demonstration Garden into its programme under the title ‘Gardening with BotSoc’.

Our active branch caters for its members by hosting monthly events such as talks on plants, natural history and indigenous gardening, walks and events in the KZN National Botanical Garden, hikes and outings to the KZN Midlands and visits to plants nurseries. Our members participate in CREW outings where we help to monitor and conserve plant species.

Through our Committee involvement we try to exert influence where possible for local botanical/environmental causes by participation in EIAs, timber licence assessments and developmental proposals.

Our annual Tea Party in the Avenue is a local landmark and usually partners with another local charity to host this fun event in the Plane Avenue of the KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Garden.

One of our Centenary Projects is the launch of the KZN National Botanical Garden’s Tree Route booklet in 2013, which is being sponsored by the BotSoc/SANBI Partnership Fund through our Branch. Members of our Branch were involved in the final editing stages of the booklet, with particular thanks going to Sally Johnson for her massive effort.

Members receive copies of the Daisy Digest, as well as the regular BotSoc membership benefits, i.e. free entry into any of the National Botanical Gardens.

+27 (0)82 062 2939


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