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The Arboretum Open Day – A long way to go.

By johnboy - 15 March 2009 23

It is historically traditional that the opening of every new major institution in Canberra requires dignitaries to slog across a desolate paddock.

In which case the grandly named Canberra International Arboretum and Gardens might still be destined for greatness.

There were certainly enough support staff in attendance to greet George (the kelpie of few achievments) and I.

To his few accomplishments George can now add taking a huge double-hander of a crap on the arboretum path. (I had a bag, I used it).

We trudged up the bare hillside, past the neatly arrayed rows of very young saplings. The view of the rest of Canberra’s quite good up there, until the trees grow.

At the top of the hill there was a smattering of groups that had agreed to be roped in and provide some colour.

A few kids were getting a kick being driven around on the back of a Bushfire Service truck. The biggest single group was the people lining up to be driven back down the hill.

A Ngunnawall elder observed over the PA system that all the new trees would be nicer than the old pine forest, once they grew. The elder was solemnly thanked for this demonstration of the wisdom held only by traditional owners.

The usual hectoring Government crap was set up in the usual tents that infest every event trying to pick up the “community” tag.

In short the best thing about it was the walk, which probably could have been achieved at much less expense. In any event most people caught the bus.

In years to come I’m sure it will be very nice and wedding parties can get into fist fights about who’s got it booked before they can get to the serious part of their civil ceremonies, the reading of bad poetry by the fat friend wearing purple.

Right now I can’t help thinking there’s a bit of a push on to install the controversial project in everyone’s hearts and minds. Presumably so we don’t mind funding it while other existing (and better loved) infrastructure crumbles.

For the time being, you could put the Big Day Out on the hilltop, and it would still be the Big Day Out, but the hilltop is just an empty windswept hilltop.

Which is quite good for kites.

(Slideshow below)

What’s Your opinion?


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23 Responses to
The Arboretum Open Day – A long way to go.
VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 8:14 pm 15 Mar 09

Sad, but so true.

justin heywood 7:46 pm 15 Mar 09

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

yawnnn – bit like a prison with no prisoners. an arboretum with no trees

What’s next? A local govt with no idea?

No wait! There’s much more.

We have a treasury with no money, a city with no water, a hospital without adequate staff, schools with no students, a justice system which doesn’t dispense justice, commuters with no options…

But we do have an arboretum. It’s all a matter of priorities. Stanhope’s priorities, that is.

deezagood 7:23 pm 15 Mar 09

The think building a massive tree garden (where new saplings need lots and lots of water) whilst Canberra is experiencing drought and associated water-restrictions is an EXCELLENT idea. I also hope the arboretum has a LOT of statues.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 7:01 pm 15 Mar 09

yawnnn – bit like a prison with no prisoners. an arboretum with no trees

What’s next? A local govt with no idea?

Granny 6:09 pm 15 Mar 09

Ok, not a fan of the arboretum, but trees grow people. Everything great has to begin somewhere. One day your great-grandchildren may be frolicking amongst those trees and begging to be taken there. Lovers might share a first kiss there. There are worse things in the world than planting trees when all is said and done.

Inappropriate 6:05 pm 15 Mar 09

I glad I pulled out of going. Looks like a big dust bowl.

Morgan 4:46 pm 15 Mar 09

Whose stupid idea was the tree garden anyway?

Whatsup 3:43 pm 15 Mar 09

You could have at least included a picture of George.

sunshine 3:41 pm 15 Mar 09

yawnnn – bit like a prison with no prisoners. an arboretum with no trees

Igglepiggle 3:33 pm 15 Mar 09

Very glad I didn’t bother…

Granny 2:52 pm 15 Mar 09

Well, it is handy to know of a good kite-flying location for those times when you’re desperately trying to get the damn thing up in the air and several little sets of eyes are fixed expectantly upon you ….

Pommy bastard 2:39 pm 15 Mar 09

Bah, before all this claptrap, Dairy farmers Lookout (as it should be known) was a great place to walk the mutts in solitude. Now it’ll be full of people looking at trees, which makes a change from watching paint dry I suppose. “Ooh look, some trees. And some more trees. And more.”

A Ngunnawall elder observed over the PA system that all the new trees would be nicer than the old pine forest, once they grew. The elder was solemnly thanked for this demonstration of the wisdom held only by traditional owners.

Snuuurt…

deye 2:26 pm 15 Mar 09

The one thing I haven’t seen in any of the plans is where the parking will be to access the site. Seems a silly thing to leave out.

Growling Ferret 2:21 pm 15 Mar 09

Looks a long way short of the predicted 7000 crowd expected to attend…

Digga 2:16 pm 15 Mar 09

Thanks johnboy! Saved me bothering with the trip out there with the kids. Your photos showed me all I needed to see – looked like wide expanses of dirt!

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