Wedding planners, photographers, caterers and other businesses related to special events have benefitted from this project's spin off impacts.
The Sunshine Coast region has great natural beauty and assets, but little dedicated tourism infrastructure. The region has long prioritized tourism as a key economic diversification and growth strategy. With this in mind, the Sunshine Coast Botanical Garden Society acquired 40 acres of prime land in Sechelt. The plan was to develop a botanical garden, which would serve as a demonstration and educational site, as well as a tourism draw.
Project GroundWork aimed to lay a foundation for a botanical garden site. Significant site preparation work was done with volunteer labour and equipment donations. The project featured the construction of a West Coast-style public assembly building that is an ideal venue for conferences, meetings, events and cultural gatherings. The site also includes themed gardens — including native, food and wild gardens — which serve as the backdrop for tours and educational events.
Completed in 2011, thousands of visitors now visit the Gardens annually for special events, gardener workshops (for all ages and levels), public and private events and to tour or simply enjoy the idyllic natural setting. The site is also an economic generator for the community, as the public assembly building serves as a space for both personal and business gatherings. Several events, including destination weddings have been held at the Gardens. This niche market has resulted in new business opportunities. Wedding planners, photographers, caterers and other businesses related to special events have benefitted from the project’s spin off impacts. Volunteer garden membership has also increased by over 600 people who work on various, new, themed and onsite gardens and projects.