Revegetation to connect pockets of bushland from Balnarring to Coolart. A Koala Corridor.
Restoring the Peninsula
Today only pockets of bushland remain on the Mornington Peninsula. They are largely disconnected. More than 90% of naturally occurring native vegetation has been cleared.
In Balnarring, there is the much loved Balbirooroo wetlands and woodlands. It is inspiring to realise that what was just a paddock only 27 years ago, a swampy area with a few old Swamp Paperbarks, is now a really great community revegetation story and habitat for many species of fauna and flora, including Koalas.
Balbirooroo is the unique classroom of Balnarring Primary School. By contributing to our new Biolink project you will be extending this extraordinary learning environment.
Other local projects include the hides at Coolart. Thirty years ago, these looked over bare ponds with no habitat for wetland species. Just look at what is there now!
The recently planted indigenous vegetation at the Balnarring Village Common is just three years old. Check it out – it is amazing what can be achieved by forward thinking community groups with funds.
So this is your opportunity to contribute to the natural re-connection of the Peninsula. To support a community project that will make a real difference for species struggling to survive.
A new Biolink
You can be part of the success of the Balnarring to the Bay Biolink. By lending your labour or expertise, or by making a donation.
This stage of the Balnarring to the Bay Biolink project will continue newly-planted indigenous vegetation past the Village Common and on to Balnarring Primary School and Balbirooroo. Wetlands. Other stages already underway have seen plantings on properties adjacent to Merricks Creek towards Coolart and the Westernport.
We have engaged local, credentialed environmental experts, so we get the science of revegetation right. For example, native grasses, including the Kangaroo Grass meadow which is a highlight of the Village Common, will feature in the Biolink.
Important lower story flora will not be neglected, as we provide habitat for mammal, bird and insect species
One of the important results of this Biolink will be a further extension of suitable Koala habitat which is urgently needed.
We need help
To revegetate the area from the skate park to Balbirooroo Wetlands and Woodlands, we need to raise significant funds for the removal of the many pine wildings which cover the site.
Koala trees that will be planted will be the Manna Gum (E viminalis subsp. Pryoriana) and the Narrow-leaved peppermint Gum (E radiata). They are the indigenous trees which are the particular favourites of the local koalas.
The preparation of the area for planting by removing weed species will be far more costly than other projects undertaken by the Landcare group. We need assistance from our great local community, and also from environmentally-minded people who live further away.
The Landcare group has many live grant applications, and are hopeful of success from these, as we require a further $80,000 to complete the project.
Can you help our community reach this goal? Please donate here. Every amount, large or small, will help make a difference.
Progress so far …
Starting on 19 July 2021 the first 40 pine trees were removed from the area behind the skate park along the route of the old railway line, towards the Balnarring Village Common and Balbirooroo. This area will be the first area where replanting will occur. This was at a cost of $20,000. The feedback from the community members who stopped to have a look was enthusiastically supportive. Thanks also to the community for their support on social media.
It has taken well over than two years to get to this point. Many hours had been spent on working through the necessary council processes, and finally the Landcare Group was given a permit to undertake this project.
Now the remaining $80,000 to complete this exciting project must be raised, so we will continue to apply for grants from government agencies or philanthropic bodies. Those who would like to assist with this vital job can do so by:
· Assisting with fund raising projects
· Contributing funding for the project
· Sponsoring the removal of a pine tree and the replacement with indigenous plants
Some local land holders are already supporting this project by sharing part of their property with wildlife. As a local landowner, please consider making a donation toward the Biolink.
You can join us
This is an amazing community project, providing significant habitat for our wonderful native fauna including koalas, recreational opportunities for local residents and broad community participation and we are inviting you to join us.
Beyond fund raising, you might like to get involved in plant growing by working with us to collect local indigenous plant seed (this will be undertaken with appropriate permits), which we will then grow for revegetation of the site.
Maybe you would like to join our Landcare group, or be kept informed of the Biolink project’s progress. Please send an email to [email protected]
Whether you live in Balnarring-Somers-Bittern-Merricks and surrounds or perhaps just holiday or visit here, please consider getting involved. It’s time to get this done!
Supporting us will bring you life-changing benefits
Those of us who have been involved with revegetation projects in the past have enjoyed a great sense of community and real pride in the environmental enhancement we have been able to achieve.
We would love you to share in the many environmental and community benefits this project will bring. For some this will be a first; others may have been involved in past projects.
Please join us in making this valuable, positive contribution with our Biolink project!
We look forward to meeting you sometime, perhaps in the shade of a gum tree, which may even have a snoozing Koala or roosting Powerful Owl amongst the branches – all of which you will have helped make possible.
Donations to the Balnarring to the Bay Biolink are tax-deductible.
Consider sponsoring the removal of a tree for $500 by yourself or by a group.
A $300 donation would buy 100 native plants.
Contributions of smaller amounts would be most welcome, as would any involvement you might be able to have in the project.
It is a big project and it will have big benefits, now and into the future.