Latest News from the Friends

7 August, 2020
Welcome to the August Newsletter with all the latest from the Friends of Kings Park.

Find out about news at the Friends of Kings Park.

Read on for an update on our return to in-person Plant Sales, the 2020 Festival Address and our 2021 Calendar now on sale!

In this issue

President’s Report

Volunteer activities in the Park are now pretty much back to normal, albeit with some changes to work schedules to satisfy social/spatial distancing requirements.

Our online plant sale in late July was a great success. We sold over 1,600 plants, yielding around $12,000 in net revenue. These were plants that needed to be sold at that time and would not have survived or been suitable for sale in September. The online sale was well-received; 61 of the 62 respondents to a survey of those who bought the plants said they would buy online again if the occasion arose. Although, hopefully, most future sales will be on-site rather than online.

We have been very fortunate that membership numbers have held up well throughout the coronavirus crisis. Thank you all for your support. Membership stood at 1052 on 4 August 2020, compared to 981 members at the same time last year. Furthermore, as mentioned in previous reports, financial assistance from the Commonwealth Government (via JobKeeper and the Business Cash Flow Boost scheme) and from Lotterywest (courtesy of their Event Cancellation Relief scheme) have kept us in a sound financial position throughout the crisis.

Our survey of members in July provided very useful feedback on the activities and direction of the Friends of Kings Park. The response rate was fairly good (almost 30% of members).

There were many very complimentary remarks (particularly about our For People and Plants magazine), as well as suggestions for improvement. The Management Committee will be discussing the results of this survey at our meeting next week and considering implementing some of the suggestions.

Our schedule of events (talks and presentations) has been severely disrupted this year, due largely to social distancing requirements. However, plans are underway to resume our programme of events. We are also looking at expanding the scope and variety of other benefits provided to FoKP members.

The Growing Friends have been busy in the nursery. We will be resuming our on-site plant sales, starting with a half-day sale on the morning of Sunday, September 20. We expect to have significantly fewer plants for sale than normal for a September sale – we’ll probably only have about 5,000 – which is understandable given the limited time that we have had to propagate and grow the plants.

Just a reminder that our AGM is coming up in October and we’ll be calling for a new committee to serve from October 2020 to October 2022. Some members of the Management Committee are planning to nominate for another term of office; so we are likely to have some continuity of membership. However, we are also keen to hear from prospective new members who could bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to the committee’s deliberations. We would like to meet anyone interested in nominating to be on the committee (or to be an office-bearer) well in advance of October. Nominations will be called for in due course.

Ian Kerr
7 August 2020

September Native Plant Sale

We’re excited to share that we will be returning to in-person Native Plant Sales in September! The sale will take place on

Sunday 20th September, 9am – 12:30pm

Please note this is a new date from the previously advertised date, due to delays in preparation as a result of COVID.

While not as big as our usual September sale, we will have lots of beautiful native plants for a one-day sale at the Exhibition Grounds in Kings Park. All applicable COVID restrictions will be observed to ensure the safety of our customers and volunteers.

Stay tuned to the newsletter, our Facebook page and website for details of the plants on offer when our plant sale list is released 2 weeks before the sale. We’ll also be asking for volunteers very soon and would love your help in putting on a successful and safe event.

We look forward to seeing you there!

2020 Festival Address

As restricts ease, our Communications Committee has been busy planning a return to our popular schedule of talks and events. What better way to relaunch our program than with the flagship event for the Friends – the 2020 Festival Address!

We thrilled to announce that Josh Byrne will deliver the 2020 Festival Address on “Greening cities in a changing world – the role of gardens, parks and unconventional spaces”

Thursday 3rd September 5:30pm for a 6:00pm start.

Dr Josh Byrne is an environmental scientist with a national profile as a consultant, researcher and communicator in urban sustainability. He is well known as the WA presenter on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia program where over the past 18 years he has showcased practical approaches to sustainable gardening and urban livability.

Doors open at 5:30 pm for drinks and catering, with introductions commencing at 6.00 pm
Cost: $30 members, $35 non-members, tickets available on Trybooking

2021 Calendar

Our very popular Wildflower Calendar is now available, featuring a beautiful selection of native flowers and plants. It makes the perfect gift for locals and visitors alike.

The calendar can now be purchased on our website and will soon be available in Aspects. Friends members enter the discount coupon that was emailed to you to receive a 15% discount off the retail price.

Don’t forget, proceeds from the sale of the calendar go straight to the Friends, to support important projects within Kings Park.

Make sure you don’t miss out! Last year’s calendar sold faster than we anticipated and a few folks were left disappointed. Support the Friends of Kings Park by purchasing your calendar now!

Online Plant Sale

Thank you to everyone who helped us trial our Online Plant Sale over the last few weeks. We appreciate your support and patience as we tested out an alternative to in-person sales during this strange time. The feedback was fabulous and we will certainly use these learnings in our planning for future plant sales.

“Just wanted to congratulate you on such a smooth operation for the online plant sale. Ordering was easy ( loved the pictures & descriptions) and pickup was so easy. And all the bagging, labelling great so please thank the hard working volunteers and a big thanks to you. My plants are gorgeous – so excited to watch the grow & bloom!” – A Happy Customer

You can read more about the Online Plant Sale here

We hope you’re enjoying your new plants. 💕🌱🌸

Volunteer opportunities

Garden Carers
Positions are coming available for the Wednesday and Thursday groups. The Garden Carers meet each week at 8:00 am on Wednesday or Thursday. For these groups, you must be a Friends of Kings Park member.

If the GARDEN CARERS is of interest to you, the first step is to email the Volunteer Coordinator via email: [email protected] with your name and a brief description of your interest in the GARDEN CARERS for the Wednesday or Thursday group.

Then the Volunteer Coordinator will send you further information. There will be placement start dates offered soon to suitable applicants.

Education Volunteers
The Kings Park Education team are looking for Education Volunteers. Kings Park Education offer a range of different educational programs for children ranging in ages from Early Learning through to Year Twelve. Programs are linked to the Western Australian School Curriculum and cover topics such as Science, Conservation and Nyoongar Culture. The programs are run during school term time. The role of the Education Volunteer is to assist our teaching staff with incoming schools visiting Kings Park.  It is suitable for people who are fit and healthy, willing to get hands-on and have the ability and interest in engaging school-age children with their natural environment.

Volunteer days available are Tuesday to Friday, 9:00am to 2:00pm. Most Education Volunteers will volunteer one day a week or fortnight during term time. For this role you will need a Working With Children Check. (If you don’t have one, the Volunteer Coordinator can give you the relevant paperwork) and be a Friends of Kings Park member.

The first step is to contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Larr Rose to discuss your availability. Larr will then organise a date for you to come in and look at the program by shadowing an experienced Kings Park Education Volunteer. Following this an induction will be organised. All interested applicants to apply via email: [email protected] with your name and a brief description of your availability.

Volunteer uniforms

Hi volunteers

After a bit of a delay due to the shutdowns we are now able to offer you some uniform options to purchase. There are three options, each are $27. All are bottle green and will have a Friends logo embroidered on them.

Ladies shirt size 6 to 24 – https://www.syzmik.com/product/au/zw760/
Mens shirt  size XXS to 5XL – https://www.syzmik.com/product/au/zw460/
Unisex vest sizes S to 5XL – sleeveless polar fleece vest with a zip-up

We are also taking orders for name badges, which are no cost to volunteers.

Please fill in the attached form with your choice and return it to the Friends office with your payment before Monday 24 August to be included in the order.

There will be a few sample sizes of the shirts and vests in the Lodge to try on, but the manufacturer has provided this size guide for the shirts if you are unable to come in: https://www.syzmik.com/garmentfittingguide/au/

Please note that the Friends has subsidised the cost of the shirts and name badges, to reduce the cost to volunteers. After the order is placed, we will notify you when the uniforms arrive.

Place your order by 24 August

Members’ Survey

Thanks to everyone who took time to complete the membership survey. We had a great response and are appreciative of your support. We hear your message that you love People and Plants magazine! There are lots of useful comments and we will be making our way through them carefully, and we hope to run the survey annually to see how things change.

We are currently devising a survey that will be specifically for our volunteers, so we can find out about your experiences in detail. If you are a volunteer, please keep an eye out for that, we will be sending it soon.

In the meantime, Macquarie University is currently conducting an online national survey study to investigate how people’s connection with nature by engaging with outdoor environments (such as gardens, local parks, natural reserves etc.) is related to the importance they place on such activities and whether this has changed since COVID-19. The university is also interested in examining whether people’s connections with nature are related to their physical and mental health. A secondary aim of the survey is to examine to what extent people’s engagement with nature has also been affected since the 2019-2020 bushfires.

The survey is available online at: https://mqedu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6xICvZcr3EeM3hr

Aspects discount

Aspects of Kings Park Gallery Shop has reopened, 10.00 am to 4.00 pm daily and is looking lovelier than ever.

There are several new measures to ensure the comfort of customers shopping in-store. For further information on these measures head to the BGPA website.

Don’t forget Free shipping on all domestic orders over $50 is still available, plus the members-only discount code can still be applied if you’re shopping online.

The online members discount code has been updated, so make sure you use the following code from now on in the vouchers field at the checkout to receive your discount: 2020FOKP-UPA1DTM9.

Management Committee

Not all our volunteers are gardeners! The Friends of Kings Park Management Committee is a small team that sets the direction for the Friends and manages many aspects of our operations, and we are seeking new members this year. Have you ever considered giving back to the community by joining a committee?

All positions on the committee will be vacant at the 2020 AGM in October, but we are reaching out now so you have a chance to get to know us. Like to find out what is involved? Please email [email protected] (include your phone number if you would like to chat) with a quick paragraph about yourself, and we will be in touch.

Previous committee experience is not required, but familiarity with Kings Park and Botanic Gardens, or an interest in the volunteer or conservation sectors would be advantageous.

Help us plan for a vibrant future! Contact us and find out more about the Management Committee.

Bushland Carers

Bushland carers, please note your session on September 20 has been moved a week ahead to the 13th, due to a clash with the new plant sale date. The activity will remain the same (a walk with Steve Easton).

Bold Park AGM

The Friends of Bold Park extend an invitation to all members to their AGM to be held on

Wednesday 12 August 2020, 7pm