Town's local Urban Forest Strategy contributes to global biodiversity

Jirdarup seed propagation

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Jirdarup seed propagation

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Jirdarup seed propagation

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Jirdarup seed propagation

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Jirdarup seed propagation

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Did you know that the south-west of WA is one of 36 global biodiversity hotspots? Biodiversity hotspots are defined as regions “where exceptional concentrations of endemic species are undergoing an exceptional loss of habitat.”

These hotspots represent only 2.4% of the Earth's total land surface but are home to 60% of its species. They are extremely important because biodiversity underpins all life on Earth. Without species, there would be no air to breathe, no food to eat, no water to drink. 

Did you also know that the Town of Victoria Park’s Jirdarup Bushland (part of the Kensington Bushland) contains a multitude of the endemic species that makes the south-west of WA a biodiversity hotspot?

As part of the Town’s community-led Urban Forest Strategy (UFS), we have been working to continue cultivating the seeds of endemic plants, shrubs and trees from the bushland (over 40 species listed), and encouraging them to spread beyond the bushland through planting activities. 

Pierre Quesnel, Place Leader, Urban Forest at the Town explained that the seed collection at Jirdarup is an involved process, which starts with waiting for the reason to collect the seeds from the fruiting bodies, storing them in a seed bank before they are propagated (grown) in a specialist nursery. 

“The propagation process often requires specialised facilities and techniques that often mirror the way the seeds grow naturally, for example adding smoke to imitate bushfire conditions.” 

“It takes up to eight to nine months for this process until the seeds become seedlings, ready for planting.” 

Pierre further explained that for the first time ever, residents, schools and community groups will be able to locally plant the native seedlings through a number of UFS activities, including:

  • Urban Forest at Home (coming soon)

  • community planting days (during planting season, details to come) 

  • public planting projects for our parks and open spaces

  • requests for community or stakeholder planting activities.

“The Jirdarup Bushland’s native seed cultivation and dispersion project supports all six strategic outcomes outlined in our Urban Forest Implementation Action Plan, including increasing our canopy cover, continually working with the community, increasing tree diversity, supporting local wildlife, improving our soil and water quality, and the overall urban ecosystems,” explained Pierre. 

The benefits of this project extends across environmental, social and community benefits, some of which include:

  • An opportunity for the community to contribute to a sense of place and home at the Town - the Jirdarup Bushland’s native plants and trees have been around for thousands of years, unique only to the area. By making these species more visible throughout the Town helps to create a sense of natural identity.

  • Strengthening our natural ecosystem in an urban setting - as mentioned above, having native species that attract and support local flora and fauna contributes to better soil nutrients, cleaner air and water supplies.

  • Sustainable urban forest - this project is an example of bringing in proven and long-standing bush management techniques into urban areas. These techniques work with the natural soils and climate to drive improvements in the ecosystems, hence the outcomes are more sustainable to create and maintain. 

“Most importantly, by being involved in this project, our residents and community members have the opportunity to act local - through many community urban forest activities - but contribute on a global scale towards preserving one of the the world’s biodiversity hotspots,” commented Pierre. 

Find out more about similar “Greening Vic Park” projects around Town that are contributing to our community-led Urban Forest Strategy.