The name of the Karoo National Botanical Garden was officially changed to Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden. Approved by the Minister of DEA&T, this change was published in the Government Gazette on 7 December 2001.
The Garden experienced one of the best spring seasons in recent years after good winter rainfall. A major highlight of the year was the visit to the Garden by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on the Environment in June. The purpose of the visit was to find out more about the work undertaken at the Karoo Desert NBG and the feedback from committee members was very positive.
The entrance road to the Garden was widened and re-surfaced, the Bushmanland display was extended with a further 300 Aloe dichotoma plants collected in the Northern Cape and 40 new species collected from Mpumalanga and the Northern Province were introduced to the Garden. A number of local and foreign horticulture students assisted with plant recording, propagation and landscaping in the Garden.
The Karoo Desert Garden has an active programme of cultivating rare and endangered plants and currently boasts 380 species under cultivation. Staff were called upon to rescue plants from a local casino development for re-vegetation in the Garden and were also heavily involved in advising Anglo Base Metals on a search-and-rescue operation for their proposed Gamsberg zinc mine, the development of which has now been indefinitely postponed.The Garden hosted a successful music concert organized by the Fever Tree Project, a local fund-raising initiative to beautify neighbourhoods in and around Worcester, as well as a Carols by Candlelight evening.
Garden staff put together a display of plants from the Worcester-Robertson-Karoo veld for the Worcester Show, along with colourful posters detailing the significance of succulent vegetation in southern Africa and the rest of the world.
They also lent their expertise to a visiting Australian delegation with the planning of an arid South African garden in the state of Victoria, and presented an intensive training course to Northern Cape Conservation Services officials on plant propagation, plant conservation and bulb and succulent identification. A container of plants was sent to the new desert house at the Helsinki Zoo in Finland, due to open in April 2002.