Community spirit and good will has resulted in several Silver Banksia seeds along the Seven Creeks surviving recent flood damage.
Over recent years, local experts, students and enthusiasts have come together to plant close to 500 seedlings through a significant restoration program.
Euroa’s Ray Thomas explained throughout most of Victoria and south-western NSW, Silver Banksia had mostly disappeared from the landscape in most agricultural and bushland areas.
The Bringing Back the Silver Banksia Project was established by the Goulburn Broken CMA, in partnership with the CSIRO, to identify the genetic diversity of remaining Silver Banksia trees to help build healthy and resilient populations.
Mr Thomas said it was incredibly disheartening when they had just finished planting hundreds of seedlings this year, Euroa was hit by major flooding, washing 100 of the newly planted seedlings away.
“I was disheartened…but I wanted the kids to know that they are really making a difference and I decided to replant them.”
Aside from the additional plants, around 60 per cent of the seedlings already planted along the creek bank survived the flooding event.
“And with the current warm weather, they are growing really well now,” Mr Thomas said.
“The plants that didn’t get flooded have about 10-20cm of new growth and even the ones that were under water for ages are also sending out new shoots.”
Mr Thomas said the efforts of locals and students in supporting the program was crucial to its future.
“The replanting work has definitely saved the day; we will get a fabulous result from all the efforts by St John’s school and others.
“Teamwork and encouraging each other got me re-started and made all the difference.”
Strathbogie Shire Council Mayor Cr Laura Binks congratulated those involved in the program for ensuring the Silver Banksia were restored.
“Our community will continue to enjoy our incredible natural habitat thanks to the efforts of dedicated locals who engage in programs such as this,” Cr Binks.
“We are so proud to be part of a community of dedicated volunteers and people who are passionate and knowledgeable about the sustainability of our local environment.”