Tuesday, 04 March 2014 09:58

History

1809 - The over-large Swellendam Drostdy had to be sub-divided. George was chosen because of the availability of good water.

1811 - George was declared a separate district and Adriaan Geysbertus van Kervel was appointed the first landdros (Mayor) and held the post until 1819.One of his first acts as mayor, was to dig a furrow to supply the first thirty six plots in George. An 1819 map shows the original furrows and storage dam where they remain to this day in the Garden Route Botanical Gardens. The first Furrow originated from the Rooirivier (Red river) and later a diversionary weir was built at thGardens staffe Camphersdrift River.

1875 - A second dam (now the wetland) was added and the two dams were called the D&O dams. The open furrow below the dams divided into Caledon Street, the eastern fork supplied Courtney and Meade Street, ending at the power plant in Albert Street. The western fork supplied Caledon Street and then divided to run down both sides of York Street.

1884 - The open furrows were replaced with underground pipes, although the water in the old furrows was still running.

1986 - The van Kervel Gardens were proclaimed as a Nature Reserve by the administrator Nico Malan and managed by an advisory committee of the municipality.

1986 - A group of local residents tried to resuscitate the badly alien infested nature reserve. “The main purpose of the Nature reserve is to protect the local indigenous flora. Several Local tree species have been planted” –George Herald 1987

1995 - The Southern Cape Herbarium was founded, staffed by volunteers and Housed at the George Museum.

1996 - Concerned residents and members of local NGO,s get together with the George Municipality to plan a Botanical Gardens on the site.

1997 - The Garden Route Botanical Gardens Trust is formed.

1998 - Clearing of alien vegetation and preparation of planting beds was begun. The pioneer Afromontane forest area on the eastern boundary was planted by volunteers of the George branch of the Botanical Society of South Africa, The South Cape Herbarium, members of the local community and people sentenced to community service under the Department of correctional services.

1998 - October -Official Opening of the Garden Route Botanical Gardens

2001 - Amalgamation of the Southern cape Herbarium with the Garden Route Botanical Gardens Trust.

2002 - Audrey Moriarty buys the premises no 49 Caledon street- this becomes the Moriarty environmental centre. The Southern Cape Herbarium and the GRBG trust offices move to the centre

2010 - Formation of the GRBG Association.

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