A green hub for the Botanic Gardens
  • Saturday 27 August 2011

The new $3 million Arts and Ecology Centre at Tanawha is complete and the result is a sustainable building that reflects and complements its surrounding environment in every way.

Situated in the lush Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanical Garden, the state-of-the-art centre was officially opened today by Senator the Hon John Hogg and Councillors Jenny McKay and Debbie Blumel.

The eco-friendly building design incorporates solar panels to generate its own power and is water efficient with a rainwater harvesting and reuse system, and a waste treatment facility.

Sunshine Coast Division 5 Councillor Jenny McKay said council is delivering great places to live and enjoy.

"The Arts and Ecology centre will be a real community hub for the gardens, providing valuable insights into the Coast’s native plants, whilst showcasing cultural events, learning opportunities and green art activities," Cr McKay said.

"Council and the Friends of Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Gardens Inc have been working closely together to ensure the finished centre is a space where the community can come together to learn more about the environment and our region.

"We also hope the centre will inspire others to consider more sustainable and innovative building design."

The centre hosts a flexible multi-function room suitable for meetings and gallery exhibitions with an adjoining courtyard, a small workshop facility, a reading room, a kitchen and future café, office space, toilet facilities with disabled car parking and is set in themed, landscaped gardens looking out over the surrounding forest.

Major Projects Portfolio Councillor Debbie Blumel said the completion of the project is a great achievement and the outcome of a successful partnership between the Australian Government, council and the community.

"I was very pleased to be able to open this exemplar centre today with the help of Senator the Hon John Hogg and Councillor Jenny McKay," Cr Blumel said.

"The project was funded by the Australian Government through their Better Regions Program, and developed by council and the community who have worked together to deliver a significant community asset that will help meet the needs of the Sunshine Coast.

"Through projects like the Arts and Ecology Centre, council is driving a sustainable and innovative region by delivering facilities to boost our economy and meeting our growing region’s needs."

The Arts and Ecology Centre is now fully operational, with the next three months of activities already planned.

September will be "All About Weeds" providing the community with the opportunity to learn about environmental weeds while using them to weave a Weed Monster.

The full program of activities can be found on council’s online Events Calendar.

The Arts and Ecology Centre is also available for community use. For bookings and hire details, visit the Facilities and Recreation section of council’s website.