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Kicking off Laudato Si’ week


On a sunny Saturday morning, a group of 35 nature enthusiasts from across Adelaide gathered for a tour of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens to celebrate native flora for Laudato Si’ Week.

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The event marked the celebration of Pope Francis’ influential 2015 papal encyclical, Laudato Si’, which emphasises the importance of caring for our planet and the relationship we share with each other and our common home.

The participants (pictured) split into two groups for a 90-minute walk led by guides Judy Morton and Jan Lindsay from the Friends of the Botanic Gardens.

The groups spanned all age groups, including a couple of curious children who peppered the patient guides with numerous questions.

As participants walked down the winding paths and less-trodden areas of the park, they learnt about the diverse native flora. The walk wasn’t just about observing; it was about tasting, smelling, and learning the history and diversity of the land.

As the guides described native plants and their uses, participants had the opportunity to taste indigenous fruits such as the local desert fig, to smell the leaves of various gum trees and distinguish their species, and to touch and
feel the leaves of the emu bush which is revered for its medicinal properties.

They also learned about the creative ways in which Indigenous people utilised plant life as a mechanism for survival.

A point of fascination was the adaptive nature of many of the flora and their evolution over thousands of years to survive the harsh Australian terrain.

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