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We have been working on various aspects of the landscaping and planting of Thornhill Park since 2019. Located in the Northwest of Melbourne, this is a large new residential community where Australian Ecosystems have been working to landscape and restore waterways, wetlands and greenspace, with social and environmental benefits.
Working with Wel. Co and Winslow Constructors, and following designs from Spiire, we conditioned the topsoil and installed 10 hectares of jute mat, a huge area that is best appreciated from the air as captured in this short film.
At another site in Thornhill Park in 2019; we prepared the site soil, installed jutemat and mulch, installed rockwork, formal planting areas and structures and planted the site with 35,000 plants. After maintaining this site for two years, it has established and is now a beautiful landscape for residents to enjoy. We installed a viewing platform at this reserve that has a sign that reads:
"This wetland helps protect the environment by capturing and cleaning stormwater from local roads and roofs. This constructed systems mimics and natural filtration cycle, cleaning the water as it travels through the ponds. This cleaning helps protect Kororoit Creek and the surrounding ecosystem. It is also a great habitat asset to support local biodiversity."
This is why we do what we do, and we love doing it.
As awards season rolls around again there's no doubt that the hottest ticket in town is the Landscape Victoria Industry Awards Night (of nights). Last Saturday the who's who of the Victorian landscaping industry were out in droves with a good number of Australian Ecosystems staff swapping their high vis for high fashion and turning up for what turned out to be a stellar evening. It is always inspiring to see the calibre of projects and landscapers being acknowledged at the LV Awards and we are super proud to be a part of such an amazing industry.
It was very exciting and humbling to see another Australian Ecosystems project be recognised on the night. Over the last 3 years Australian Ecosystems has picked up 6 Landscape Victoria Industry Awards for 3 different projects. In 2017 the Connewarre Project in Armstrong Creek took home Landscape of the Year as well as awards for Landscape Maintenance and Management, Plants in the Landscape and Best Natural Built Environment. The following year we backed it up with our Mullum Creek Project which was awarded 2018 Best Natural Built Environment.
This year it was our Pop-up Urban Farm in Port Melbourne that took home the 2019 Sustainable Landscape Award. The Pop-up Urban Farm is outside Cirrus Fine Coffee Roastery and has grown over 450 kgs of fresh produce in 12 months using composted coffee grounds, coffee chaff and organics from the South Melbourne Market. That's almost half a tonne of food from 2 car spaces in 12 months! The project uses modular wicking garden beds designed by our sister company Biofilta as well as recycled materials and was praised for addressing urban heat island effect and urban hydrological systems. We are super proud of this project and we hope that it will be just one of many urban food projects that Australian Ecosystems collaborates on into the future.
At Australian Ecosystems we believe that cities need to adapt to grow substantial amounts of food within city limits to meet looming food security and climate change challenges. The opportunity is vast - cities generate huge volumes of rain water runoff and organic "waste streams" that could be intercepted, hot composted and diverted to food growing architecture and landscapes. This will help reduce organic waste ending up in landfill, cool our cities, increase nutrition to those who need it, create collaborative farms that inspire people to exercise and connect, and create a platform for nature and urban biodiversity.
The landscape industry could be pivotal in building and maintaining these farms and living landscapes on a large scale and transforming our cities into food producing areas. Australian Ecosystems, with our sister company Biofilta, has been on a mission to achieve these goals for many years so this award is very encouraging.
We are excited to see lots of productive Biofilta urban farms popping up at schools and households, and look forward to schools, communities, developers and families becoming productive urban farmers and reaping the rewards!
Thanks again to Landscape Victoria for putting on such a great night. We'll see you next year!
For more information on our award winning projects check out our awards page here.