Stephanie Day is the founder of the Ballan Arboretum. Photo credit: Luke Hemer (Star Weekly)

To increase the number of trees in Ballan using the arboretum concept has many benefits, especially when looking at the long term (the next 50-100 years).

For me the environmental and ecological benefits are the most important. Absorption of carbon dioxide and production of oxygen in this time of increasing global warming is foremost. Provision of food and habitat for birds and insects is also important. Secondly are the benefits to people. Providing aesthetics and shade and building on Ballan’s image as an Autumn town are benefits appreciated by all in the community. Also, trees (native and deciduous) enhance Ballan’s plan to be a walking/cycling town. The arboretum project also has educational benefits and will provide a great teaching and learning resource for local schools. It will also increase awareness of and interest in trees throughout the wider community. As a community “owned” project, all will be encouraged to be involved in the development and maintenance of the Ballan arboretum.

Founded in 2014 by Stephanie Day, the Ballan Arboretum group received $500 seed funding from the Ballan & District Chamber of Commerce, under which it became a sub-committee and stayed as such until we became independent on 30 June 2016.

Following a notice in the local newspaper The Moorabool News (18/3/2014) the Ballan Arboretum Group was approached by Michael Howard, a lecturer in Landscape Design at RMIT. His offer was to run a Design Studio during second semester titled ‘Ballan Township Arboretum’. We gladly accepted his offer and the students, 15 in all, were developing, documenting and drawing up the project as part of their course work over the semester (July – November 2014).

One of the outcomes of this investigation and study was a ‘pin up display’ in Ballan shop windows of their drawings and a printed booklet that has become the basis for our presentation at public meetings and ongoing promotion. Funds for this came from the Moorabool Shire Council’s winter grants program and other grants and donations. Thanks to Tor Roxburgh for the grant work and to Stephanie Day for holding a donation breakfast, and all others who worked on this.

The book Arbor Town Ballan curated by lecturer Michael Howard and Michael Roberts was launched on 20 March 2015 by Dr Greg Moore, Senior Research Associate, University of Melbourne. The three winning designs received prize money donated by the Ballan & District Chamber of Commerce.

The former Ballan Quilting Group donated $9000 in two parts to create a legacy of deciduous trees that would enhance Ballan and the Autumn Festival. Their wish was that everybody could enjoy the trees, both locals and visitors. The first $5000 was earmarked for spending on the purchase of established trees to be planted at the eastern and western entrances to the town. The Moorabool Shire Council planted those trees after multiple consultations under their own tree program and part of the Quilt Group money was then used for trees to beautify ‘Pocket Parks’ in Edols and Steiglitz streets in 2017 (at Jopling Street end). The Shire contributed the rest of the costs towards these two Pocket Parks.

The arboretum project also has education benefits and will provide a great teaching and learning resource for local schools. It will also increase awareness of and interest in trees throughout the wider community. As a community “owned” project, all will be encouraged to be involved in the development and maintenance of the Ballan Arboretum.

The Ballan Arboretum Group has a small stand at the annual Ballan Autumn Festival each year, mostly for education purposes but also to raise funds, add friends to our database and for general support. Blackwood Ridge Nursery provided trees for sale in 2016 and 2017 with a percentage as a donation.

Planting collaborations with local primary school children and members of the local Scout group have been an excellent way of involving the next generation. Read more here…

A series of talks helped educate the general public about all things trees and the environment as a whole.

We want Ballan residents to own, love and care for what we share in common.

If you would like to know more please register as a ‘Friend’ for our quarterly e-newsletter by emailing or like us on Facebook.

To offer your individual talents and join the committee please contact us at We meet bi-monthly, or as needed, in a friendly environment and welcome new members who can help us grow the vision.

To donate towards a particular project or for trees in general, please contact us at

The name ‘Ballan Arboretum Group Incoporated’ is registered by our group with ASIC (the Australian Securities and Investment Commission). We also have a registered business name ‘Ballan Arboretum Group’ through the Australian Business Register.

The Ballan Arboretum Group is a member of the Farm Tree and Landcare Association which offers us a comprehensive insurance.

Model Rules as accepted for the formation of Ballan Arboretum Group Inc. on 20 July 2015.

  1. To promote and facilitate the establishment of an arboretum as an integral element of the Ballan township. Key activities towards this end may include developing and inventory of existing significant trees, and promoting the arboreal heritage and legacy of Ballan.
  2. To form co-operative relationships with key stakeholder organisations in Ballan, including local government, to build a sense of community ownership of the arboretum; promote appreciation of the local botanical and aesthetic heritage, and promote the health and wellbeing benefits of trees in the town landscape.
  3. To encourage tourism related activities, which are associated with the arboretum and the botanical heritage of Ballan.
  4. To operate as a not-for-profit organisation to achieve the above objectives.