[ASC-media] Community fun can save a plant from extinction

Karla Davies Karla.Davies at rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au
Tue Apr 19 06:09:03 CEST 2011

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Media release

For immediate release

Community fun can save a plant from extinction

The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney has created a new fun way to allow people and community groups to become 'everyday heroes' and help save plant species at risk from climate change and human activities.

Acting Executive Director of the Botanic Gardens, Dr Brett Summerell said all people have to do to Save a Species from extinction is involve themselves in any activity they enjoy, set up a challenge to achieve a goal and get people to sponsor them.

"You could do it alone or get your school, workplace or community group to create a challenge," Dr Summerell said.

"To give you some ideas, you could compete in the City2Surf (alone or form a team); join one of our supporting sporting groups here at the Garden or if you have a hobby or ability in some area, set yourself a challenge and persuade others to sponsor you to achieve your goal.

"Saving a Species is a serious business and our challenge is to raise at least $50,000 this year through community support for the NSW Seedbank.  So far the NSW Seedbank has helped bank 10 per cent of the world's plant species and with our international partners is committed to banking 25 per cent by 2020.

"In Australia we have 25,000 species of plants and at least 23 per cent are under threat of extinction.  Our Seedbank is targeting plants most at risk from climate change and human activities to ensure powerful blueprints contained in plant DNA aren't lost forever," he said.

Anne Geddes, Australia's most celebrated photographer for creating visually outstanding images of new born babies in beautiful settings said the NSW Seedbank and the Save a Species campaign inspired her most recent project.

"I came into contact with the NSW Seedbank when creating my book 'Beginnings' which was about the beginnings of all of the elements of nature, including seeds.  I found my enthusiasm for new life was equalled by the enthusiasm of the staff at the NSW Seedbank and their quest to save plant species from extinction," Anne said.

"In fact my latest project, a publication and proposed TV series is inspired by a seed pod sent to me from Leah Seed who works at the NSW Seedbank.  My new project will feature photographs of around 20 pregnant women with images of seeds, buds, nests and other elements of nature and I'm continuing to photograph seeds from the NSW Seedbank as part of my inspiration," she said.

An image from Anne Geddes book 'Beginnings', a beautiful still shot of an Australian rainforest tree seed, the Harpullia pendula is featured in the Save a Species campaign.

To get involved in the Save a Species project go to:  www.saveaspecies.org.au

MEDIA CONTACT:    Karla Davies, PR Manager, 9231 8004 or 0427 482 477
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