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The Arboretum Open Day – A long way to go.

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.

Parking off Lady Denman drive we were marshalled by an army of security guards and traffic controllers, we passed by a double line of bucket shakers, making the required gold coin supplication. We went past the buses that were ferrying the old and infirm to the top of the hill, and were directed onto the pedestrian path the very few young and fit were taking. Incidentally there were ACTION buses taking people to the bottom of the path, but Murray’s buses driving them to the top of the hill.

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)


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23 Responses to The Arboretum Open Day – A long way to go.
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Pommy bastard Pommy bastard 1:05 pm 16 Mar 09

s-s-a said :

After all, having my child spew in the foyer of a major national institution with nothing more to catch it than my bare hands does take some beating…

Some people get all the fun…

Granny Granny 12:54 pm 16 Mar 09

Apparently I have a gift for folksy trailer park wisdom, amarooresident2!

*chuckle*

amarooresident2 amarooresident2 12:25 pm 16 Mar 09

Granny said :

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.

Granny,

This among the most sensible and nicest things I have ever read on RiotACT. Are you sure your in the right place?

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 10:49 am 16 Mar 09

cring said :

I found it very ironic they were using the same road signs to indicate how much water is left in our dams to advertise for this event in the days leading up to it.

Just Google for “Zombies ahead”, and see if you can make our informative water signage say something more to your liking.

cring cring 10:44 am 16 Mar 09

I found it very ironic they were using the same road signs to indicate how much water is left in our dams to advertise for this event in the days leading up to it.

s-s-a s-s-a 9:46 am 16 Mar 09

Despite being the first opportunity for my other-half to get up Dairy Farmers in a decade (and a spot of guerilla blackberrying on the way home), I’m not sure that the Arboretum open day will be the most memorable event of my weekend just gone.

After all, having my child spew in the foyer of a major national institution with nothing more to catch it than my bare hands does take some beating…

Our main comments about the day were:
– Wheelchair parking was too far from the stage area over extremely rough ground (for a wheelchair user).
– The security/parking attendants were all extremely polite and helpful, however the guy at the wheelchair parking area didn’t know whether we could drive up the hill (knowing the area well, we decided to explore on our way out and discovered that not only could we, but there was a lovely well-graded path up there plus a lookout towards Stromlo).
– Kiddy craft and face painting is always appreciated, especially when it’s free.
– It took some explaining to a 5yo that dancing right in front of the stage (where there were a couple of other children) when the music was at a volume that would fill the MCG would not be good for her ears. I couldn’t get much closer than 20m to the stage without my ear drums melting. The volume was understandable I guess considering the size of the venue and fact that most people were wandering, not sitting in chairs listening.

Madman Madman 8:23 am 16 Mar 09

I see the Canberra Times decided against fate and took their own lives in a head on with the Murrays Bus!

Felix the Cat Felix the Cat 9:05 pm 15 Mar 09

Growling Ferret said :

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

They were all down at the lake fishing for Carp.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 8:14 pm 15 Mar 09

Sad, but so true.

justin heywood 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 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_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 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 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 Inappropriate 6:05 pm 15 Mar 09

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

Morgan Morgan 4:46 pm 15 Mar 09

Whose stupid idea was the tree garden anyway?

Whatsup Whatsup 3:43 pm 15 Mar 09

You could have at least included a picture of George.

sunshine sunshine 3:41 pm 15 Mar 09

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

Igglepiggle Igglepiggle 3:33 pm 15 Mar 09

Very glad I didn’t bother…

Granny 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 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…

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