From little teams, big things grow

Native species
have returned to City-managed nature reserves and other rare and significant
plants are thriving, thanks to the adoption of bush regeneration
techniques.

The City is
responsible for maintaining about 900 hectares of remnant vegetation across
areas of Greater Geelong’s foreshore, rivers, wetlands, bushland and grassland.

Our clever
management practices are not only protecting, but improving, the health of
these natural assets.

Almost 28
hectares worth of weeds were removed from our nature reserve network in
2017-18, paving the way for indigenous plants to regenerate in massive numbers.

At the
Portarlington Flora and Fauna Reserve, two species have been recorded in the
area for the first time, following weed control works.

They are the
tall shrubs Drooping Cassinia (Cassinia arcuata) and the
Common Cassinia (Cassinia aculeate).

The
conservation area, at the Portarlington Recreation Reserve, contains regionally-rare
vegetation communities.

At the opposite
end of the Bellarine Peninsula, clearing has allowed an influx of rare and
significant plants, including orchids, to populate a five-kilometre stretch of
foreshore.

Buckley Park
Foreshore Reserve runs from Collendina and Point Lonsdale and features
sensitive sand dunes, Moonah woodland and patches of coastal grasslands.

A $370,000
grant from the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority has allowed for the
worst weeds at either end of the reserve to be tackled.

A significant
amount of myrtle-leaf milkwort shrubs has been hand removed, allowing hundreds
of thousands of new plants to emerge, such as the coast groundsel (Senecio
pinnatifolius) and coast Swainson-pea.

The strong
re-growth helps provide a diverse habitat for birdlife, including the reserve’s
successful hooded plover breeding site.

The City’s
90-strong reserve network has expanded by two sites in the past six months,
including a prominent 13.7-hectare reserve at Indented Head.

Acquired in a
land swap, the site hosts one of the last redgum woodland remnants in the
region.

We are
celebrating our world-class natural wonders with a range of activities over
September and October for Geelong Biodiversity Month.

Please visit www.geelongaustralia.com.au/environment for details of upcoming events.

However, the
remaining areas of remnant vegetation we have are under increasing pressure
from human activity.

From
encroaching development, to dumped rubbish, off-leash dogs and the creation of
makeshift tracks, the values of our nature reserves face constant threats.

The City
encourages visitors to stay on access paths to protect sensitive areas of our
precious nature reserves.

Director City Services Guy Wilson-Browne

Our weed
management methods are crucial in providing the right conditions for native
plants to return and flourish. It is exciting
to see the benefits of that work, with species coming back and areas awash with
colourful plant life.

While we are
doing everything we can to enhance our natural assets, we need residents to
minimise their impacts on the environment. It is vital
that we all tread lightly and protect the few remaining areas of significant
vegetation that we currently enjoy.

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