Facelift for ‘natureless’ Mabo Boulevard median strip following Bonner community feedback

Dominic Giannini 17 September 2021 33
Mabo Boulevard in Bonner

The Mabo Boulevard median strip in Bonner will get a facelift this spring. Photo: Damien Larkins.

The Mabo Boulevard median strip in Bonner is due for a facelift after residents said they wanted new trees, boulders and gaps in the foliage to act as unofficial pedestrian refuges.

Yerrabi MLA Suzanne Orr released her survey results for the rundown median strip after she received more than 300 responses from local residents.

“The median has remained as a natureless median strip, containing rocks and rubbish that has always been an eyesore for Bonner residents,” she said.

“Many residents have been telling me for years they would like this median improved so it provides an inviting entrance to the suburb.

“Bonner residents wanted to see Mabo Boulevard improved, so it was vital to allow residents to provide their direct input.”

Respondents were almost equally split between crepe myrtles or a mix of banksia and melaleuca trees, with the former planting itself just ahead of the other two.

Crepe myrtle tree

Around 30 crepe myrtle trees will be planted along Mabo Boulevard in the Gungahlin suburb of Bonner. Photo: National Arboretum Canberra.

Three in four residents also said they would like to see boulders included where possible, and four in five said they wanted gaps in the trees along the boulevard to act as unofficial pedestrian refuges along the median strip.

An ACT Government spokesperson said they had been working with the Gungahlin community about how to enhance the median strip after the original plantings within the stormwater collection swale in the middle of Mabo Boulevard were not successful due to drought.

Around 30 small crepe myrtle trees will be planted on sections of the median strip to provide shade and “improve the amenity of the streetscape”, said the spokesperson.

“The ACT Government will plant these trees on sections of the median strip to provide shade and improve the amenity of the streetscape. The trees will complement water-sensitive urban design elements on the median to better manage stormwater runoff.

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“Canberra’s urban forest is one of the things that makes our city such a great place to live. We are constantly engaging with the community on appropriate tree planting locations to renew and increase our canopy cover.

“Gungahlin residents have provided some very helpful feedback.”

The deciduous trees are expected to be planted as part of the upcoming spring planting program during the next few months. The trees reach a height of around six metres and feature beautiful summer flowers and a blaze of autumn leaf colour.

Transport Canberra and City Services will be responsible for the management of the trees planted along the median strip, including watering, pruning and weeding.

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33 Responses to Facelift for ‘natureless’ Mabo Boulevard median strip following Bonner community feedback
Jenny Smits Jenny Smits 7:23 am 20 Sep 21

They could make it a connectivity corridor Melissa Snape

    Melissa Snape Melissa Snape 7:45 am 21 Sep 21

    Jenny Smits That's OK, Mabo can be pretty. We will pitch to get some of the bigger, wider corridors me thinks 😊

    Jenny Smits Jenny Smits 4:38 pm 21 Sep 21

    hmmm that's some good connectivity!

Viv Little Viv Little 9:14 pm 19 Sep 21

Ev Little getting greened up

    Ev Little Ev Little 7:13 am 20 Sep 21

    Viv Little hopefully will make it look better it’s awful atm

Josette Noble Josette Noble 7:41 pm 19 Sep 21

If you can plant trees we should be able to be let out

Annie Wyer Annie Wyer 12:31 pm 19 Sep 21

They do know about Myrtle Rust, don’t they?

    Jesse Mahoney Jesse Mahoney 11:28 am 22 Sep 21

    Annie Wyer you do know myrtle rust affects plants in the Myrtaceae family? Of which the crepe myrtle is not.

    Annie Wyer Annie Wyer 11:55 am 22 Sep 21

    Jesse Mahoney probably right, but crepe myrtle has a whole host of other diseases. I tried growing crepe myrtle in Canberra, it’s too cold there for them, plus they suffer from powdery mildew and sooty mould. They need lots of chemicals to keep them looking good, something Canberra doesn’t do once they plant them. They’re lovely trees, however, if they’re looked after.

    Jesse Mahoney Jesse Mahoney 2:54 pm 22 Sep 21

    Annie Wyer I'm a post graduate trained forester with many years experience on a technical level, I know a bit about trees. Crepe myrtles do have some other diseases, but there are many bred to address those.

    As for cold, that's ridiculous. They grow in every front yard in Washington dc where they can get a few ft of snow every year.

    Annie Wyer Annie Wyer 3:28 pm 22 Sep 21

    Jesse Mahoney I tried growing a whole lot in Belconnen around my complex and they faced east, they all got powdery mildew, the cold was too much for them and most died. There were two left when I moved to Qld this year. And by the way I studied horticulture….snow is an insulator and acts differently to heavy frost, I thought you’d know that…

    I never saw any in DC when I was there. But go ahead, plant them. I would go for much sturdier trees if it was my choice.

    Likely they’ll be vandalised anyway, because Canberra is the only city I know where people do that for a bit of entertainment.

Mark Whithear Mark Whithear 6:35 am 19 Sep 21

About time we stopped planting bloody eucalypts

Anne O'Brien Anne O'Brien 11:37 pm 18 Sep 21

Denser + taller canopy / shade would be preferable

Chanelle Martin Chanelle Martin 8:41 pm 18 Sep 21

can u just do like one thing on southside pls love u

Artie Reink Artie Reink 7:32 pm 18 Sep 21

what a fabulous idea, lol,umm no, what is wrong with people

Anthony Beck Anthony Beck 6:48 pm 18 Sep 21

It’s not essential, so it better not happen during lockdown …🤨

    Stephen Ning Stephen Ning 8:00 pm 18 Sep 21

    Anthony Beck

    Outdoor work is allowed now.

    Mark Johnson Mark Johnson 8:42 pm 18 Sep 21

    Anthony Beck if it’s backed by the government then it’s open slather

    Anthony Beck Anthony Beck 8:43 pm 18 Sep 21

    Mark Johnson oh of course, what was I thinking..😱🤭

Jp Romano Jp Romano 6:40 pm 18 Sep 21

Should’ve been planted before houses were built…

Shane Hughes Shane Hughes 6:18 pm 18 Sep 21

For a start just keep the rubbish out of it

Boweavil Kat Boweavil Kat 6:10 pm 18 Sep 21

Nah, don’t do Crete Myrtle. Do natives.

Robyn Baer Robyn Baer 5:46 pm 18 Sep 21

What about myrtle rust? Difficult disease to control or treat. Why not native species eg bottlebrush whose flowers are food for native parrots, nectar loving birds, possums and pollenating insects?

    Christine Mansfield Christine Mansfield 5:54 pm 18 Sep 21

    Robyn Baer would we want to encourage possums into the middle of the road?

    Robyn Baer Robyn Baer 5:58 pm 18 Sep 21

    Christine Mansfield good point, but they will anyway once trees are there, food or no food.

    John Canevski John Canevski 7:29 pm 18 Sep 21

    Forget planting trees,just concrete the whole thing,much cleaner and better looking

    Meg Joy Meg Joy 9:17 pm 18 Sep 21

    Robyn Baer New varieties are resistant to rust. Crepe myrtle is a great choice for Canberra - hardy and attractive all year

    Jesse Mahoney Jesse Mahoney 11:25 am 22 Sep 21

    Robyn Baer you know that myrtle rust refers to affecting the myrtle family, Myrtaceae, right?

    If so, you'd know the bottlebrush is in that family, and the crype myrtle, despite its name, is not...

    Jesse Mahoney Jesse Mahoney 11:26 am 22 Sep 21

    Meg Joy crepe myrtles are not in the Myrtaceae family.

Lyalle Patterson Lyalle Patterson 5:44 pm 18 Sep 21

replace all the trees lost in and around Civic in the name of progress!!!

Amanda Caldwell Amanda Caldwell 4:55 pm 18 Sep 21

Why would you put an introduced species in?

ChrisinTurner ChrisinTurner 2:54 pm 18 Sep 21

I am pleased to see the government more interested in trees. In and around Civic we only see trees removed. Even trees shown in DAs are not retained or a DA is the excuse for wholesale removal of street trees.

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