A draft master plan for Williamstown Botanic Gardens has been released by Hobsons Bay council for community feedback.

The heritage-listed gardens were laid out between 1856 and 1960.

The Victorian Heritage Register stated the gardens were: “historically important as one of Victoria’s earliest and most intact botanic gardens and, along with
St Kilda, one of only two suburban botanic gardens established in the 19th century in Victoria”.

The council commissioned Laidlaw and Laidlaw Design to prepare a master plan. The plan stated that the public’s expectations have changed and “to stay relevant botanic gardens are expected to be more than just collections of plants and places to walk and picnic”.

It proposed visitor services such as a cafe, educational facilities, information desks and better access to public toilets.

Other recommendations included connecting the north and south garden areas, improving irrigation and new garden beds and trees.

The cost of implementing the plan has been estimated at $2.6 million over 10 years.

The master plan will be on exhibition until May 11.

Community walks through the garden to discuss the plans will be held on April 6 and 10 at 11am and 1pm.

Register at participate.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au