I am delighted to report that all Friends of Kings Park volunteers have now returned to the Park and resumed their normal activities. From June 6, various groups of volunteers returned to work throughout the month of June. The staggered approach was deemed necessary, both as a precaution against the coronavirus and to allow for BGPA employees to prepare for and coordinate the influx of volunteers.
Many thanks to our two staff members – Helena and Alex – who worked with the Volunteer coordinator (Larr Rose) over the last month or two to prepare for and oversee the return to work of the Friends volunteers.
We’ve also had more good news on the financial front. Our application to Lotterywest for financial assistance under their Event Cancellation Relief scheme was successful and we have been granted $73,850 in compensation for lost revenue from cancelled plant sales. As noted previously, we have been receiving Commonwealth Government assistance – the JobKeeper subsidy for our two employees (worth $39,000 over 6 months), as well as $20,000 under the Business Cash Flow Boost scheme. With these three forms of assistance, we could well emerge from this coronavirus crisis without any adverse financial effects.
I am very pleased that Michael Tichbon OAM has accepted our invitation to be the Patron of the Friends of Kings Park (see the item in this newsletter). Besides being a major benefactor (he has donated $280,000 to the Friends over the last five years), Michael has devoted his time and energy over many decades to the conservation and protection of WA wildlife and wildflowers. This contribution was recognised, in 2019, when he was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia.
An award of a different type was announced at the recent awards night of the WA chapter of the Institute of Landscape Architects. MJA Studio was awarded a Commendation, in the Small Projects category, for their design of Wanju Marr. Congratulations to all Friends, BGPA and Lotterywest staff who were involved in the conception, design and delivery of the Wanju Marr project!
The schedule for our plant sales for the remainder of 2020 is still up in the air, given the uncertainty about social restrictions and the setback to our growing schedule. However, we have decided to proceed with an online sale of native plants later this month (more details will be provided soon). There is also a chance that we will hold a plant sale in September, albeit one with fewer plants than normal for sale (given the limited time that we have had to grow the plants). Further details will be announced in due course.
1 July 2020