The Pearl Beach Arboretum held the official opening of their Propagation Shed on a blustery and wet Sunday, November 21.
The propagation area consists of a purpose-built propagation shed clad with polycarbonate and contains a heat bed, specially designed propagation pods with an impregnated growing medium, automatic watering system, stainless steel preparation benches, sink and storage.
The shed leads into a hardening off area with automatic overhead sprinklers, a tank system, outside storage for pots and benches for plants which are being acclimatised before planting out.
A $20,000 grant under the Federal Government’s Community Environment Program helped construction of the shed using professional and volunteer labour.
Bunnings Umina and West Gosford supported the project through the provision of shade cloth and wire mesh.
Federal Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks, helped open the facility and said it would help see koalas return to Pearl Beach.
“The new shed will enable the Arboretum to continue the important work they are doing to propagate and plant more koala trees in the local area and preserve over 40 threatened plant and tree species (including the Central Coast’s very own Gosford Wattle),” Wicks said.
“Thank you to the passionate volunteers at the Arboretum for your work, care for our environment and community, and for your dedication to make the Central Coast a better place tomorrow than is it today.”
Arboretum President, Victoria Crawford, said other volunteer community groups such as Bushcare, Dunecare and GUST (Grow Urban Shade Trees) may be able to use the facilities to propagate their plants.
“As propagation of plants is established more broadly some of them will be distributed to the wider community,” Crawford said.
“Some have already been distributed to the local community including Umina Primary School, GUST, Bushcare and PBEG (Pearl Beach Environment Group).
“Commencing in 2003, the Arboretum volunteers planted over 30 species of trees in the wildlife corridor with a view to supporting koalas in the future and in 2009 established a flowering shrub area.
“These areas have had additional plantings since the establishment of the propagation shed to ensure food sources for native bees thus improving natural propagation and the health of koala habitat trees.
“The Arboretum is also looking at propagating and increasing the number of native or bush foods within the Arboretum.”
Media release, Nov 22
Pearl Beach Arboretum