The first steps to establish a botanic garden in the Eurobodalla Shire began in 1985 when a citizens’ group, associated with Eurobodalla Coastwatchers, first met to consider the establishment of a flora reserve, holding public meetings to garner support.
In 1986, with community support, the ‘Friends of the Eurobodalla Native Botanic Gardens’ (the Friends) was formed. That year, Eurobodalla Shire Council progressed the project by establishing a Management Committee to oversee the development and management of the Gardens.
In 1987, Eurobodalla Council applied to NSW State Forestry for an Occupation Permit for a portion of Mogo State Forest at Deep Creek. This site had already been partially cleared to provide fill for the walls of Deep Creek Dam, the Shire’s principal water storage.
From its conception, the Botanic Garden was to become a unique showcase of regional plants. Site work commenced in 1988, workers consisting of a small number of Council staff and Friends organized volunteers. The pace of development quickened after 1992 when the first full-time Council funded professional staff member was appointed but volunteers remained the bulk of the workforce.