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Though increased accessibility is usually deemed a victory, by-products of this public access include difficulty in determining accurate attendance and demographics of visitorship as well as adverse impact on plant collections (carving into tree bark, pedestrian traffic through planting beds, etc.). Conversely, many of the other organizations self-identify as “destination” gardens, because they recognize the extra planning and preparation their visitors must make to reach the site. For example, Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah considers itself to be more known internationally than domestically. Despite lobbying for the government to provide public transportation to the garden, the site is still only accessible by car. In effort to be more inclusive of the local community and increase overall visitorship, the garden recently dropped its $5.00 admission fee. This changed the demographic of the garden visitors significantly by attracting more short-term visitors and boosting attendance from 100,000 to approximately 200,000 visitors per year. Increased visitorship has driven efforts to expand car-parking facilities, which will become critical during peak times including school holidays, weekends, and apple-picking season. The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan also recently dropped its admission fee. In turn, staff saw a greater increase in recreational visitors. The surrounding area has an average age of 36, a mix of income levels, and frequent local visitors with an emphasis in the older and younger generations (families, grandparents, children). While the garden aims to be a recreational destination for visitors, the horticultural staff is challenged by an increase in litter and speeding vehicles. In an effort to invite a different and previously absent demographic of visitors, the garden opened up an area of land unsuited for gardening to mountain bikers. Similarly to Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah, Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbournes’ transportation challenges stem from reliance on cars and limited to no public transportation. As part of the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Melbourne Gardens has considered running shuttle buses to and from its counterpart, Cranbourne, though this plan has yet to mature. Cranbourne Gardens holds four large events each year, including a “family day” with the local city of Casey. Now in its sixth year, this event alone draws 2500 to 3000 people into the gardens. With insufficient parking available on site, the garden provides free pickups from the train, library, and shopping mall (this is similar to how Longwood Gardens handles overflow parking during the Christmas season). However, because of the garden’s location in a developing area with freeway access, this may change significantly as Cranbourne expands its visitation patterns. Once inside the gardens visitors can enjoy a garden explorer shuttle, which makes six stops, provides interpretation throughout, and acts as a safety measure on especially hot days. B. Increasing access to collections: Adelaide Botanic Garden Though urban location, public transportation, and free admission make for highly accessible plant collections, the South Australian Seed Conservation Centre (SASCC) provides virtual accessibility to the state’s threatened plant species in addition to supporting conservation efforts through its website, Seeds of South Australia (Figure 16). Since its establishment in 2002, the program has been very successful, with over 200 million seeds collected and stored, including seeds from nearly 70% of the State’s threatened flora. Though seed collecting efforts are based

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2016 International Experience_Australia  
2016 International Experience_Australia  
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