After seventy years of decimation by suburban developments, weed infestations and in more recent times severe drought, dedicated volunteers from the Bayside Community Nursery have nurtured Victoria’s floral emblem the Pink Heath back from the point of extinction.
Working in conjunction with Citywide, Bayside Council’s open spaces service provider, the Community Nursery found and propagated a number of native plants, once thought to be forever lost to the coastal community of Australia.
Citywide and the volunteer-based community nursery have played an instrumental role in resurrecting these indigenous plants traditionally found in Bayside’s local foreshore, parks and gardens. Over the past twelve months, they have successfully propagated not only the Pink Heath, but also the Slender Velvet Bush and the Sticky Longhead.
Taking over eight months to develop the propagation process for the Pink Heath, Citywide horticulturists and nursery volunteers took cuttings from one of the few remaining plants, ‘tubed’ the offerings and planted them into pots located at the nursery. With over 20 pots of the Pink Heath now in bloom, the nursery’s intention is to form a viable population of the plant, which will then be developed into seedlings and reintroduced into the local heathland reserves.
Erika Anderson and Carmen Skrobonja, Citywide’s horticulturists based at the Bayside Community Nursery, are ecstatic about the work achieved.
“Not only have we prevented the extinction of a number of native plants to the area, we have also raised awareness about the importance of community conservation, and provided generations to come with a green and sustainable future,” said Erika.
Originally established in the 1970’s, the Bayside Community Nursery now houses over 200 hundred plant species. Supported through an extensive group of volunteers comprising of friends, families and local residents, the nursery has been successful in saving endangered plant life, as well as revegetating coastal reserves and public parks and gardens with native flora.