Hi, I am a plant enthusiast and a member of the local Friends of the Botanical Gardens here in Penang,Malaysia. Our Botanical gardens as far as I know was started by the British and administered by them and from Independance was then handed over to the state government. In the ensuing years however the Gardens seem to have lost their direction and we are now very much in danger of becoming just a recreation park. Pretty plants,lots of visitors both local and foreign,lots of joggers and picnickers...the Friends was started by a group of concerned citizens,all laymen and garden enthusiasts,who were appalled at the direction our Gardens have headed. I am looking for a website-or perhaps some kind soul who is qualified-that can tell me concisely the functions of a Botanical Garden as opposed to a park or a recreational ground. We meet with representatives of the local government and we feel it is time to draw up a charter to at least set the curator on the right path,but we don't quite know where to begin. Any pointers would be very much appreciated.