So many volunteers helped with this project
About the site
We didn’t get our first choice of Council site to enhance with shade trees and habitat; the consolation site was Ernest Sendall Park on Kangaroo Avenue. This is still a spectacular site with many beautiful mature trees. Our aim was to create a forest area. The main difficulties with this site have been the lack of water and the hardness of the ground.
About the project
Mark Stanton-Cook and I lead the first community planting on October 22nd, 2022. We realised over time that the hard clay-pan surface is marine mud. This acid sulphate soil was dredged from the canals when the original housing development was created. The ground therefore acts differently than the sandy loam soils typical of most of the island.
With Council watering and the introduction of mulch, we have been lucky to have over 95% of that initial planting survive.
About the final planting
For the final planting, we have tried a different approach. With the guidance of BIEPA member Ron Notham, we pre-dug the perimeter of the site and have planted 200 shrubs (mostly grevilleas and callistemons) into a sandy loam soil enhanced with organic fertiliser.
The site is being watered by BIEPA members until the plants get more established. Tom Thumb Tree Services have donated mulch, so the site should be looking verdant and colourful in a couple of months.
Our aim is to create habitat for flora and fauna and a beautiful place for people to sit and enjoy native plants.
A big thank-you to all BIEPA members and other community members, too numerous to mention by name, who have all helped with the spade work and watering. A special thanks to Nicole Byrne, Senior Environment Officer at MBCC, who has been a tremendous help with this project.