By: Michael Fox
Watching bushland being bulldozed to build more houses is always heart-breaking so it was inspiring to learn about a developer, Ginninderry, that is restoring, not destroying habitat.
April in Canberra, I attended the inspiring Planting for Pollinators: Maximising Biodiversity in Urban Design conference hosted by ACT for BEES and Ginninderry.
I was particularly keen to take part, as the conference set out to show that it is possible to profitably create new housing stock and strong liveable communities, while maintaining or creating urban wildlife habitat.
“This conference was specifically targeted for those within the Urban Design, Landscape Architect, Planning and Development Industries – both private and government sectors and included speakers from industry and government to inform why pollinator corridors are important, the planning process including how RedBox Designs planned for 200 metre grids of year-round flowering for native bees, the use of ACT Govt Plant Species for Urban Landscape Projects, climate adaptation and tree selection and community support.” Julie Armstrong ACT for BEES.
Dr Matthew Frawley, Landscape Manager, Ginninderry made some significant points that particularly struck me as aligning with the Pollinator Link #WaterFoodShelter in urban habitat.
“More than a third of the land at Ginninderry is being set aside as a Conservation Corridor. The Corridor will total 577 hectares and will include the land adjacent to the Murrumbidgee River and Ginninderry Creek. The size and boundaries of the Corridor were determined scientifically to protect the endangered Pink-Tailed Worm Lizard habitat, conserve Yellow Box Red Gum Grassy woodland and to preserve the natural beauty of the landscape.” Ginninderry
Unlike many urban property developments the land being developed is old pastural land with only a scatting of trees. So land set aside as a Conservation Corridor means that over time wildlife habitat will be recreated surrounding the urban being created.
Even within the urban spaces the development team is researching and planning tree lined streets. House buyers are actively supported in establishment of pollinator friendly gardens with landscape designs for formal, informal edible gardens with lists of exotic and native plants.
Other presenters introduced valuable information on everything from choice of plants for pollinators, managing community expectations around street trees, research on Climate Adaptation Guided Tree Selection QPRC and engaging community support.