Ken McQueen, NRG Steering Committee

Published in the National Rock Garden Newsletter No. 24, December 2022

The much anticipated move of the National Rock Garden to its new site at the National Arboretum Canberra is now well on track for the coming year, following endorsement of the proposed landscape design by the ACT Government. The next step is submission of a works approval application, to the National Capital Authority, based on the engineering drawings of the landscape architects. Concurrently the Steering Committee is seeking quotes from construction companies to undertake the site works. If all goes well (and the site can dry out from all the rain!) we plan to have the first rock clusters installed in the second half of 2023.

To ensure sufficient funds to cover construction costs the NRG is encouraging friends and supporters to consider making a donation to support the project. The Steering Committee is also seeking support through grant applications to the ACT and Federal governments and has recently been successful in winning two ACT Government grants totalling $25K to design and construct the Indigenous Welcome feature for the NRG. This feature, to be designed in collaboration with the local Ngunnawal Traditional Custodians of the site, is likely to form the second cluster to be installed at the NRG after the existing Federation Rocks Cluster. Also, over the past twelve months, the various state and territory Rock Selection committees have been busy selecting appropriate rocks and acquiring a number of these to add to the existing collection. Some of these have recently been transported to the ACT in readiness for transfer to the new NRG site as construction begins.

Concept design, by Harris Hobbs Landscapes, for the proposed NRG display within the National Arboretum Canberra. The garden, featuring a series of themed rock clusters linked by wheel-chair accessible paths, will be integrated with a complementary planting of Weeping Wilga trees (Geijera parviflora) in an Indigenous-inspired pattern (not shown).