Mt Gambier Rail Trail year one revegetation complete

A huge thankyou to the Mt Gambier community and students from Tenison Woods College for your efforts in helping Nature Glenelg Trust complete year one of a five year project aiming to revegetate areas between Bertha Street and White Avenue, along Mt Gambier’s fabulous Rail Trail. Over 30 community members and 160 year 6 & 7 students braved the winter chill for some bio-diverse and ecologically friendly planting fun over two days (August 4th & 5th).

Year one revegetation complete between Bertha Street and White Avenue

Over 1,350 native plants were dug into the very hard ground and carefully planted to help create habitat, beautify the trail and surrounds, and to give students a future nature study and Cultural learning site for years to come.

Forty-five species of native plants were propagated at the NGT Community Nursery (in Vansittart Park) to be displayed in 26 (10m x 4m) sections along the trail. Medium-sized shrubs formed the basis of the planting design with species like Banksia, Xanthorrhoea, Bottlebrush, Broom-bush and Tea-tree.

An example of a Xanthorrhoea just beginning to flower

Around these we planted a host of grasses, sedges, herbs and smaller shrubs. Mt Gambier City Council laid out mulch for the site giving the plants soil moisture protection, increasing the chance to grow strong plants that will provide impressive flowering displays along the trail and also food and habitat sources for native animals.

An example of an endangered wattle in flower (Jumping Jack Wattle – Acacia enterocarpa) planted along the trial

The planting list also included food plants for rare butterflies who need Mat-rush (Lomandra longifolia) for their caterpillars, and Indigenous basket weaving plants like Spiny Flat-sedge (Cyperus gymnocaulos) will become more obvious along different sections of the trail as they flourish with watering and some targeted TLC.

The community planting day starting at Wilson Street and heading towards Duigan Street

Local groups and organisations have been very supportive of this project despite our need to scale things back due to COVID-19 – so we appreciate your patience. Year one on-ground supporters included the Limestone Coast Rail Trail sub-committee, City of Mt Gambier Council, Tenison Woods College, Nature Glenelg Trust volunteers, The Border Watch, LifeStyle Magazine, ABC South East and Southern Cross Austereo – 963 Triple M.



Thankyou also to Mimosa Farm Trees for help with filling a shortfall in specific plants.

In year two and beyond, we aim to involve many more schools, businesses and groups, to provide biodiversity education and cultural awareness sessions for students and reinforce the ecological, social and health benefits behind restoring the environment – especially one so close to our own backyards.

Bryan Haywood