Cowra Japanese Garden still needs your support

Cowra Japanese Garden Board chairman, Bob Griffiths, said the federal government's Job Keeper package has allowed the garden to be maintained despite being closed since March 26.
Cowra Japanese Garden Board chairman, Bob Griffiths, said the federal government's Job Keeper package has allowed the garden to be maintained despite being closed since March 26.

More than $16,000 has already been donated to the Cowra Japanese Garden's Go Fund Me campaign, established to assist the Garden through the COVID-19 pandemic.

These funds, combined with $4000 worth of donations from a Facebook fundraiser and other donations being made directly to the Garden, are helping to meet the cost of maintenance during the crisis.

Chairman of the Board, Bob Griffiths, said the JobKeeper package had enabled the Garden to retain staff on a part-time basis, meaning the local landmark had been well maintained despite being closed since March 26.

"They have done an excellent job with limited time and resources to ensure Cowra's number one tourist attraction is ready to welcome visitors as soon as the rules allow," he said.

"It is very pleasing to see the Garden getting very good support from both the local and the Japanese communities when so many people will have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic."

With the recent relaxation of the COVID-19 restrictions, the garden was able to re-open on May 20 with restricted hours in place for the enjoyment of locals and the Friends of the Garden passholders.

The Cultural Centre, EDO Cottage and Bonsai House remain closed, with the entry fee reduced to compensate.

Manager of the Garden, Shane Budge, said the Garden was continuing its fundraising efforts as it is not expected there will be enough income generated through entry fees in the immediate future to meet the normal operating costs.

"Many people are still not aware that the Garden is an independent, self-funded,not-for-profit organisation," he said.

"They have the misconception that the Garden is owned and operated by Council."

If you would like to help, donations can be made through Go Fund Me by searching "gofundme cowra japanese garden" or directly to the Garden by contacting manager@cowragarden.com.au for details.

Until regional travel restrictions are lifted on June 1 and visitation is approved, the Garden's temporary operating hours are 9am to 2pm, Monday to Thursday and 9am to 5pm Friday to Sunday.

The Japanese Garden Café is open 9am to 2pm daily.