About 4000 native, trees shrubs and grasses were planted today in Ironbark– and that’s just the start of plans to transform a strip of grassed land running through the heart of Bendigo.
Ironbark Gully Friends organiser Jacky Vincent said the community group wanted to replant 12,000 plants over more than 10 hectares, creating a bike and pedestrian path and wildlife corridor that would connect schools, aged-care facilities and bridge social divides.
“Ironbark Gully runs through Garden Gully, Bendigo, North Bendigo and Long Gully and the idea is to band all four of those neighbourhoods together so that they are not separated by labels such lower- or upper-socio economic but are united as one community,” Mr Vincent said.
“So that the community has something to take ownership of, something to be proud of.”
Dozens of community members joined him on National Tree Day to replant a block of empty land on Victoria Street.
But Mr Vincent said revegetation was just a first step.
“Along with the shared path we want to create two community spaces – one in the east and one in the west of the gully,” he said.
“They’d be used for markets and school fairs and you could connect them with some events, for example, races between the two areas.
“Along the gully you have so many schools, primary schools, a secondary school, a special needs school, public schools and a Catholic school – so you’ve got the whole spectrum.
“That’s not even to mention the kinders and the aged-care facilities.”
And Mr Vincent said it would not just be people which would benefit from replanting the gully.
“The gully connects the Jackass Flat and Maiden Gully nature reserves,” he said.
“So it would be perfect for people and animals.”
Mr Vincent said the group was formed about three years ago and its recent efforts were made possible by a generous donation by the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust.