Geographically the RTBG has often been regarded principally as a Hobart institution. To reverse this perception and reinforce our state-wide relevance the Gardens has expanded upon a series of outreach programs. These have all initiated valuable connections with organisations throughout the state and cover a wide range of activities. Examples of these are the provision of ongoing assistance to the Tasmanian Arboretum and the Emu Valley Rhododendron Gardens as well as the revegetation of the Bell Bay industrial site. The Gardens Education outreach program has also increased significantly. Within the mantle of the management of heritage sites RTBG staff have been involved in the assessment of the trees and vegetation of the Willow Court precinct of the old Royal Derwent Hospital, Soldiers Walk Memorial Avenues around the State and in surveys of the heritage Woodstock property at the Cascade Brewery.
With limited resources the RTBG also undertakes a range of targeted research projects, principally in two areas. The first is the biology and propagation of selected rare and threatened species in conjunction with the Department of Plant Science at the University of Tasmania. This project involves extensive tissue culture experimentation and DNA analysis in order to establish an ex situ collection of the triploid clone Lomatia tasmanica. This work follows on from a similar successful project to propagate the rare and threatened Philotheca freyciana. The second line of research is in the selection, collection, data basing and propagation of rare and threatened plants suitable for the revegetation of abandoned mines sites.
This research has been largely funded and supported by BHP Billiton TEMCO and The Mineral Council of Tasmania.
Again like other botanic gardens Australia-wide, the RTBG has joined the Millennium Seed Bank project being run under the auspices of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. Construction of the Seed Bank facility is now under way. This project continues an already long-term and valuable partnership with the Nature Conservation Branch of the State Department of Primary Industry Water and the Environment and the Tasmanian Herbarium. This project will not only collect seed from most of Tasmania's rare and threatened flora but will provide the infrastructure and material for future research.