Friends of the Botanical Garden, an initiative of the Stellenbosch University (SU) Botanical Garden to support the activities of the Garden through volunteering, fundraising and acting as an advisory committee, was recently introduced to the greater Stellenbosch community.
Friends of the Botanical Garden was formally established in March and Ms Catherine de Villiers, spouse of Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University (SU), accepted the invitation to become its first patron.
"With rising pressure on various tertiary institutions it has become a necessity to become more self-sustainable and ensure that the Botanical Garden also flourishes into the next century. With the Garden being located so close to the bustling town centre there has also been a growing need to ensure that the Garden stays a peaceful and safe community hub and for this reason it was also decided to start charging a nominal entrance fee in 2017," he adds.
Members of the public can become a Friend. Membership cards will be sold in the Botanical Garden's shop at R50 for basic membership. Members will get a set number of visits (365) per year and will be able to let accompanying persons enter for free under their membership. Students and staff of the university will get automatic membership and their visits will be loaded to their staff or student cards. Non-members will need to pay an entrance fee (R10), part of which will be reimbursed (R5) for any purchases at the shop or restaurant. Groups that make prior arrangement, such as school groups will still be able to visit for free. Friends will also receive invitations to special events and talks.