Community encouraged to lend their green thumbs for Pierces Creek restoration

Lachlan Roberts 13 June 2019

It will take around 20 years for the trees to grow back at Pierces Creek. Photo: Supplied.

When the news broke of an out-of-control bushfire at Pierces Creek last November, Canberrans were forced to watch on as more than 200 hectares of bushland seven kilometres from Kambah burned across several days.

In the following months after the fire was tamed, ACT Parks and Conservation rangers set about removing thousands of burnt pines, preparing the ground for new seedlings to be planted.

The conservation is now encouraging Canberrans to join them on Tuesday morning to help restore the previously burnt section of Pierces Creek with native vegetation.

The activity will start with a short exploration of the area and a brief talk on air pollution, followed by some restoration works including planting native seeds and maintaining the trees already on the site.

ACT Parks and Conservation manager Brett McNamara said the morning was a chance for Canberrans to use their green thumbs while learning of the wider role the service provides.

“We know Canberrans hibernate over winter but every now and then it is worthwhile poking your nose outside and seeing what is going on in the great outdoors and that is what this is all about,” he said.

“As an organisation, we have done a lot of rehabilitation there after the fire at Pierces Creek and that has removed a lot of the dead standing pines. We are now at the stage where we are looking at doing some planting so we need some extra hands for planting.

“This is also an opportunity to speak with the rangers and to understand the implications of fire on the landscape, the role the area has as part of the Cotter catchment and a broader conversation and engage with the community about what we do as land managers in this part of the world.

“It is an opportunity where people can see what we have done out there at Pierces Creek.”

Mr McNamara said the bushfire has damaged Pierces Creek to a point where it will take nearly two decades to return the bushland to the way it was before 1 November.

“These sorts of sight rehabilitation take around 15 to 20 years and obviously variables like drought come into play,” he said. “This is a long term view that we take with these sorts of programs.”

The rehabilitation morning comes in a week dedicated to showcasing the bush capital, with ACT Parks and Conservation organising a series of events throughout the week with ranger-guided walks, talks, films and planting days in ACT parks and reserves.

To sign up for Tuesday morning’s working bee at Murray’s Corner, click here.

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