One of Australia’s most ancient trees has been given a new lease of life thanks to the generosity of a passionate Bowral gardening identity and an enthusiastic band of Bushcare volunteers.
The Wollemi Pine, a native tree that was discovered two decades ago growing in a remote part of the Blue Mountains, is a survivor from the dinosaur age. As such it is a symbol of survival, resilience and renewal and has become a popular choice for a potted Christmas tree.
This particular Wollemi Pine has been serving Bowral resident Ms Muriel Stuart as a Christmas tree for many years and will be given a new lease of life in Centennial Park at a planting ceremony on Tuesday, 12 February. The tree will stand as a symbol of the renewal of the park which has been achieved through a partnership between Wingecarribee Shire Council and local residents.
Muriel is well known in the Shire, and at 87 years young is one of our oldest active gardeners. She has lived in the Wingecarribee Shire for 76 years and was a founding member of the Centennial Park Bushcare group.
Just nine months ago the area, which straddles the tributary of Mittagong Creek draining north-west Bowral, was infested with viney and woody weeds. It is through the hard work of Muriel and other passionate volunteers including the Bushcare group, Scouts, school students, Bowral Lions Club and community groups, along with Council’s support, that the park has been revitalised.
The Centennial Park Bushcare group is looking forward to the Wollemi pine flourishing along with the other native plants that have been planted to provide wildlife habitat, stabilise the creek banks and improve downstream water quality.
Working bees are held on the second Tuesday of every month to conduct site maintenance and everyone is welcome to join in and get their hands dirty. People interested in joining the Bushcare program should contact Council to register.
The Wollemi Pine planting ceremony will take place at Centennial Park at 10am on Tuesday, 12 February.
For more information contact Council’s Natural Resource Officer Paul Marshall on 0418 424 524.