In 2009, the Kings Park Volunteer Guides celebrate 25 years of service to Kings Park and Botanic Garden.
The Kings Park Guides had humble beginnings in 1984 as a small group of men and women willing to take the public on tours of Kings Park with very little information on Western Australian native flora.
Today they are a dedicated group of some 120 active volunteers trained to lead daily walks through the State's Botanic Garden and other areas of Kings Park, armed with a wealth of knowledge of WA native plants and local history. The 25th anniversary of the Kings Park Volunteer Guides will be celebrated during 2009.
The Kings Park Volunteer Guides provide a valuable service staffing the Park's Visitor Information Centre, and leading guided walks at 10.00 am and 2.00 pm every day of the year except Christmas Day. Additional walks are undertaken throughout September during the Kings Park Festival.
To become a Kings Park Volunteer Guide, trainees undertake an intensive 15 week training course which equips them with knowledge in basic botany, a history of the Swan River Colony, bushland management and plant adaptations in WA's dry climate. The Kings Park Volunteer Guides also learn the locations of the many unique WA native flowers in the Park, as well as interesting snippets of information about each of them, such as how their leaves move with the sun and which plants have a waxy coating to help retain water. There is ongoing evaluation of the Guides to maintain their quality and standards.
Kings Park Volunteer Guides President Mr Jim Davies said the Guides were a remarkable group of enthusiastic people with a range of talents.
"Most trainee guides come to the role with an interest in flora or a botanical background which we nurture and build upon during their training. Others join the guides as they are interested in working in tourism, hospitality or have a keen interest in Perth's history. We are truly proud of Kings Park and are delighted to share it and our local knowledge of WA history with visitors and tourists," said Jim.
"Many tourists are amazed that we have this native bushland right in the heart of Perth and we are more than happy to show it off," he quipped.
"Most importantly, as volunteers, we work extremely well with the Kings Park staff and have a mutual respect for each other," Jim said.
Read more about the Kings Park Volunteer Guides...