Grow West trees get in the ground without volunteers

9 August 2021

After the highly anticipated Grow West Community Planting Day had to be cancelled for the second year in a row, we’ve worked hard to ensure the trees still made it into the ground, with 4,000 indigenous trees and shrubs planted at Kel Shields Flora Reserve in Maddingley last week.

The Grow West annual community planting day event has been running for over 15 years, attracting over 200 volunteers across the state to help plant indigenous plants in the upper Werribee Catchment. The 2021 event was sadly cancelled twice this year, once on the 5thJune, World Environment Day and again on the 24th of July, due to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

The event was to be held at Kel Shields Flora Reserve in Maddingley, a five-hectare reserve that supports a diverse understory of native grasses and shrubs. Thanks to a last-minute sponsorship from Natural Resources Conservation League of Victoria, Grow West was able to employ contractors to help get the 4,000 plants in the ground before the end of the planting season.

It is envisaged that the reserve will become an important thoroughfare for the community, with walking tracks connecting new suburbs of Bacchus Marsh to the train station and main street.

This project contributes to the Grow West vision of rejuvenating 10,000 hectares of land by connecting the You Yangs Regional Park, Brisbane Ranges National Park, Werribee Gorge State Park and Lerderderg State Park through a mosaic of restoration works on private and public land.

Grow West is a partnership between Port Phillip & Westernport CMA, Melbourne Water, Moorabool Shire Council and Southern Rural Water. This project was made possible thanks to its sponsors – SureGrow Treemax, 15 Trees, GJ Gardner Homes, Bacchus Marsh Community Bank, and Natural Resources Conservation League of Victoria – and the support of the Friends of Werribee Gorge and Long Forest Mallee, Moorabool Landcare Network, Victorian National Parks Association, Bacchus Marsh Lions Club and the Victorian Mobile Landcare Group.