A wide variety of trees were planted, not all were successful. A helicopter carrying out a fuel-reduction burning operation crashed near Wandiligong on 19 April 1978.
Two Forest Officers, Peter Collier & Stan Gillett & the pilot, John Byrnes, lost their lives. It was decided to develop the former Seed Garden into a Memorial Arboretum in memory of those killed.
The Memorial Arboretum was officially opened on 14 December 1984. Shortly afterwards the Forests Commission Victoria was reorganised and, with changing personnel, the Memorial Arboretum only received minimal maintenance.
In May 2002, a Friends of the Bright Memorial Arboretum was formed and now has over 40 members. The Friends Group is an advisory body to the Department of of Sustainability & Environment, which is very supportive.
It is planned that regular maintenance will be carried out and further development will take place as funds become available.