The Growing Illawarra Natives Project - a workshop in Berry

An invitation to attend a presentation and full day workshop
  • When 26 Nov, 2016 from 09:30 AM to 02:00 PM (Australia/Sydney / UTC1008)
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“The Growing Illawarra Natives Project”: An invitation to attend a presentation and full day workshop

Facilitators: Leon Fuller, Emma Rooksby, Carl Glaister, Richard Scarborough and Garry Daly

Date : Saturday 26th November 2016

Time : 9.30am to 4.00pm

Venue : Berry Public School Hall, Clarence St. Berry

RSVP : Saturday 19th Nov. or 44643911

Cost : Free:   Tea and coffee will be provided, but please bring your own lunch

What is The Growing Illawarra Natives project?

The project involves developing a website that encourages greater appreciation and cultivation of local native plant species in Illawarra.

The term Illawarra here refers to the coastal area between the escarpment cliffs and the sea, from Stanwell Park (Bald Hill) to the Shoalhaven River  (excluding Bomaderry). The area has a rich diversity of plant communities with some 850 indigenous plants species identified, many of which have great value in cultivation.

Background to the project

Leon Fuller has worked for many years on tree identification of the Illawarra. He is the author of “Wollongong Native Trees” and co-author of “Native Trees of Central Illawarra” which have overview of the areas between Wollongong to Foxground. He has great knowledge and understanding about the benefits of regional biodiversity. Leon landscaped the grounds of The University of Wollongong 40 years ago with the vision to re-establish biodiversity in an urban garden environment.

Rather than writing another book, he considered that a website would be more beneficial for a broader and younger audience. The project is designed to be ‘user friendly’, allowing community members to contribute to website content, while maintaining botanical integrity and methodology. Leon has been working with Emma Rooksby, Carl Glaister and other plant enthusiasts from the region to develop the website parameters and content.

In brief, the website will contain detailed descriptive information and appealing photos of plants of the region, advice on cultivation, how and where to grow the plants, propagation techniques, and a lot more.  By using this website, people will be able to identify which local native plants will best suit their garden, landscaping or other application. The idea is to help redress the balance of biodiversity that has been reduced by urban development. By enhancing local plant biodiversity, the resulting habitat will be more beneficial place for the local bird, insect and animal populations.  500 plants have been selected for their suitability for use in an urban setting.

Project development and community involvement :  how you can help? There is a wealth of knowledge and experience with local native plants across our region, but much of it is 'in people's heads' rather than being documented. The process of bringing all this information together is a huge endeavour, and a range of skills and contributions are needed. Leon, Emma and Carl believe a community volunteer based approach is the best way to make the project happen.

It is now time for the community to have a chance to engage with the project. Anyone with practical experience in propagating and using local native plants in gardens, bush regeneration or other applications can contribute. Skills in writing, editing, photography, website and database design are also needed.

The workshop will enable volunteers to contribute as much as they are able on the day and to continue with aspects of the project in their own time if they wish.

An extended lunch break will allow participants to intermingle and talk more informally with other participants and the facilitators

Although some reference books will be available, participants are encouraged to bring their own native plant reference books, laptops, mobile internet connection etc

The presentation is hosted by Berry Public School Plant Propagation Nursery with the support of Principal Bob Willetts and staff.

If you are interested in this workshop, but are unable to attend on the day, or if you require further information, please contact Lyn Clark