Community helps plant life back into our precious woodlands

May 21st, 2017

In doing their bit to bring back shrubs, birds and other wildlife to the Box Gum Grassy Woodlands of Ginninderra, 60 community volunteer planters joined CSIRO and the Ginninderra Catchment Group today in celebrating the International Day of Biological Diversity, one day early.

The army of residents, Cub Scouts and community planters managed to put in 750 plants consisting of seven shrub species across the nine plots set-up for woodland revegetation at the CSIRO Ginninderra Experiment Station close to Spence.

“It is an amazing effort from community volunteers of all ages,” according to CSIRO Land and Water ecologist and woodland expert, Jacqui Stol.

“The UN International Day of Biological Diversity (22 May) is all about raising understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues and here we had adults, Cub Scouts and children as young as eight, wanting to do something that will really help our woodland environment,” says Stol. “The volunteers planted local native shrub species and learned many interesting things about the woodland environment while they were here.”

“Restoring the shrub layer of the woodlands will help increase the diversity of native plant and animal life and boost the quality of our valuable Box Gum Grassy Woodlands.  And when we restore these woodlands it contributes to a healthy environment for all living things, including us,” says Stol.

Across South-East Australia only 10% of the Box Gum Woodlands and Derived Native Grasslands remain, and only about 5% remain in good condition. One of the main aims of the revegetation work, is to bring back birds and other wildlife that have declined in the region.

“Having a number of ‘layers’ of vegetation in the Woodlands provides unique opportunities for native birds, insects, possums, gliders and reptiles to live, forage, nest and take refuge. Replanting a shrub layer, together with restoring native grasses, maintaining fallen logs, mature trees, hollows and nesting sites, will help bring back more of the birds that have retreated along with the decline in area and quality of remnant woodlands.”

The plantings are one of the first initiatives to involve citizens in the science of conserving and restoring more than 200 hectares of the environment, as part of a future sustainable urban estate at CSIRO Ginninderra, to be backed by CSIRO science under a proposed joint venture.

A second community planting day will be held next Sunday (28 May), with places still available. Register at or by calling 1300 363 400.


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