About Us

 ‘A MAN CAN PLANT ONE TREE.
HUMANITY CAN PLANT A FOREST.’
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The Vision for the Melbourne Arboretum was created by the McDonell family which is now in its 5th generation of farming on some of the beautiful rolling Wollert/Mernda countryside. Maggie McDonell was inspired as a child by the inspiring story of the Butchart family which in the early 1900’s on Victoria Island, Canada, saw the vision of a garden in an old limestone quarry. Today the the Butchart Gardens are now a wonder of the world, giving pleasure to so many people.
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The suburbs of Melbourne are avariciously swallowing up so much rural land. So the McDonell family saw the need to save, restore and enrich their land for generations to enjoy and learn about the unique ecosystem of this area.
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Their aim is to create an Arboretum, ie ‘a park of trees,’ which is of world standard as well as being a centre of research excellence. The focus will be to replant and save the original indigenous trees and flora. There is still so much for us to learn about this flora, particularly about the glorious River Red Gums, which are the real treasures of this land. Each of these magic beings are sculptures in themselves.
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An Arboretum is so much more than just trees. It will be a place of beauty, of nature immersion and study, of relaxation and physical activity, of wellness, of special functions and of heritage. It is a place for the community.
Within in its parameters will be restored bluestone buildings reflecting the history of settlement, and a centre for understanding more about the original inhabitants of this wondrous land.
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So come on this journey of helping restore a corner of mother earth.
Be part of humanity to plant a forest.