NATIVE plants used by the Butchulla people in an

ancient tradition of marking the seasons are a main feat

ure in the new gardens at the Fraser Coast Cultural Centre, which opened yesterday afternoon.

The plants featured in the garden include djilgar (black wattle), banya (bunya nut) and the wongal (plum pine).

They were all used by the Butchulla people to note the change in seasons, what food would be most abundant at that time, and if it was time to perform certain practices such as back burning.

The gardens also include a native bee hive, a spiral pathway made of recycled timber from the Urangan Pier and a plaque explaining how the plants were used traditionally.

Fraser Coast councillor for community health, education and training Robert Garland said the intimate knowledge the Butchulla

people had of their environment enabled them to survive and live in harmony with their environment for many thousands of years.

He said the garden was a collaborative effort.

"We approached the Eld

ers last year to ask for their permission and support to design and landscape a garden, highlighting the important connection between the Butchulla people and their country and share the information about the local seasons and signs with residents and visitors," Cr Garland said.

"The garden is a work in progress."