You can Adopt Too!
The Adopt a Plot project has continued through the years, thanks to financial support from the Environmental Levy. New participants are always welcome to Adopt a Plot in Cremorne Reserve or any other reserve in North Sydney. Participants have taken up plots in Harry Howard Reserve and Gore Cove Reserve in Wollstonecraft. It only requires a commitment of three hours a month.
How did it start?
Cremorne Point Bushcare Group partnered with North Sydney Council and bush regeneration contractor Bush-it to win an Aust Govt Envirofund grant of $21,000 in 2005. This funding allowed local residents and businesses to get involved in rehabilitating Cremorne Reserve bushland and other areas of this iconic reserve.
Participants team up with a qualified bush regenerator to care for a 'plot' in the reserve near their home. It only requires a commitment of three hours a month.
Bush regeneration staff help participants:
- identify the range of weeds in the plot
- develop weed removal technique and use safe practises
- gain experience in identifying local native plants
- understand their actions are part of a long term natural regeneration process.
Alternatively, residents can donate $924 (2011/2012) in-lieu of doing bush regeneration work over the year. During the grant-funded project period, partcipants donations were matched by the Envirofund Grant, which funded four hours of bush regeneration work on a 'plot' in Cremorne Reserve. Now the resident donation of $924 is matched by North Sydney Council's Environmental Levy. In 2011/12 Council provided discounts for donors involved for a number of years: 5% off for donors involved for over 1 year, 10% off for donors involved for over 2 years, 15% off for donors involved for over 3 years.
Was it successful?
In Cremorne Reserve excellent results were acheived on many of the original plots that have been maintained by participants for more than the three years since 2005. From heavily weed-infested beginnings, the reserve is starting to make a huge turnaround. This is all thanks to the particpants who either worked on the plot themselves or made the donation towards the rehabilitation of their chosen plot. Weeding alone stimulated a variety of native plant seed present in the soil after perhaps 60 to 100 years of lying dormant! Who would have guessed that under all that Lantana and morning glory there was native seeds waiting for some light and warmth? Of course, rehabilitating the reserve through natural regeneration is a slow process, however, it offers the greatest hope to successfully recover the reserve for the future. The original native plant species that are now naturally regenerating (not planted) have a far better chance of out-competing weed invasion, resisting pests or disease, and surviving changing climatic conditions.
Planting locally-sourced native plants has also been necessary because some plot sites had suffered lots of soil disturbance, rubbish dumping, and excess nutrients from sewerage or stormwater leaks, which reduce the chances of a natural regeneration of native species.
The grant project period from August 2005 - August 2006 was an important time to establish control over the weed plumes that covered much of the area. Some facts and figures:
- 26 plots were 'adopted' by local residents of Cremorne Point
- 340 hours of weeding was contributed by local residents
- 8000 sq. metres of bushland was covered by the project
- 1200 native plants were planted into Cremorne Reserve in April 2006
A big thank you and congratulations must be extended to the residents and local businesses involved in this grant period of the Adopt a Plot project. With such strong support for this initiative from the local community, the outcomes have been significant!
Contact the Bushcare Officer for further details 9936 8100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org