Challenger Park Ecozone

On 8 September 2013, many of our trusty Cambridge Coastcare volunteers pitched in and we planted the Challenger ecozone (see the video!)- the area between Boscombe Ave and Jubilee Crescent. The Challenger Park Ecozone project is a collaboration with the Town of Cambridge and forms part of the Town’s broader Ecozone Implementation Program that aims to promote biodiversity and conserve water whilst retaining the amenity and function of parklands. In the lead up to the planting the Town of Cambridge co-ordinated the removal of weeds and designated areas of lawn, the landscaping works, and the installation of irrigation and mulching. A waterwise project, irrigation is planned once a week over the summer months for only the first 2 – 3 years before being turned off completely. Cambridge Coastcare then moved in to plant 5000 local native plant species selected to match the existing vegetation and to showcase some of the spectacular wildflowers the dunes have to offer. Just six months on, the plants show very rapid growth and almost 100% survival. The growth and performance of all plants will be closely monitored by Cambridge Coastcare, with the project to provide valuable information and guidance for future projects.

If you visit now, less than 2 years later mid-winter 2015,  you will impressed with the first flowering of some truly wonderful coastal native species:

Cockies Tongues (Templetonia retusa – red form and the rare white form) are now in full flower and looking spectacular as honeyeaters are visiting them for nectar.  Like a shrubby Sturt’s Desert Pea this is the first major success CCC has had with this often difficult to grow species.

R64 Templetonia retusa red2

Coastal poverty bush (Eremophila glabra): our first flowering of this wonderful orange to red flowered soft grey leaved shrub from the City Beach dunes with its distinctive bird pollinated flowers (see how the flower is curved to match the shape of the beak of a native honey eater).

R66 Eremophila glabra

Coastal basket flower (Spyridium globulosum): the attractive soft green shrub is now flowering of the first time with tiny star-like white flowers. A favourite with many native insects including jewel beetles.

R67 Spyridium globulosum