Why are we doing this?
The Bothwell St median strip is currently dominated by introduced weedy Fraxinus angustifolia subsp. angustifolia/ Desert Ash (a weed species) and grass.
The biolink is a part of our Greening Port Phillip Strategy that envisions City of Port Phillip as having a “healthy and diverse urban forest that uses innovative greening solutions to enhance the community’s daily experience, ensuring environmental, economic, cultural and social sustainability for future generations.”
We are transforming the plant life in this area in line with this vision.
The project will involve:
- removing weedy trees and trees in poor health with low life expectancy
- planting native flowering eucalypts and bottlebrushes
- retaining some large, healthy Desert Ash trees for shade / canopy coverage while the new plantings establish.
The grass monoculture will be interrupted by two different styles of biodiversity planting - “woody meadows” planted with low maintenance native shrubs, designed in collaboration with the University of Melbourne, and mulched garden beds planted with local wildflowers indigenous to our City.
The plantings will support urban biodiversity, including local insects and pollinators. Over time, these plants will encourage more native fauna, such as small insectivorous native birds, to reside in the area. Nest boxes and habitat features like logs and boulders will also be introduced to the space to provide additional habitat.
In response to community feedback, a grass path will be maintained down the median. A traffic engineer was engaged to identify the safest entry and exit points to the median and the path will lead to those points on each section of the median.
Notifications regarding the project were sent to nearby residents in June 2022.
Construction will begin in early August and is expected to end in mid-September.
Further information regarding the species being introduced to the median can be found here: Bothwell Street BioLink Species List (PDF, 117 KB)
More information regarding the University of Melbourne Woody Meadow project can be found here: https://woodymeadow.unimelb.edu.au
Anticipated disruptions include occasional, temporary road closures and limited access to the sections of the median during construction.
The project will involve the removal of some declining and dead trees along the median, as well as some Desert Ash (a weed species).
The majority of the trees programmed for removal are poor quality or in the advanced stages of decline. A small number of trees to be removed are moderate quality trees, though with a limited useful life expectancy. These trees are being removed to increase the bio-diversity benefits the project will bring. A number of high value trees (including Desert Ash) are being retained, these will continue provide aesthetic and environmental benefits while the new generation of trees establish.
The trees will be replaced with native trees, including locally indigenous species, to enhance local biodiversity.
Unfortunately tree removal notices have been subject to vandalism and tree removal marks have been sprayed on trees being retained. For accurate information regarding the trees to be removed from the median, please refer to the tree removal maps below.
The trees being removed can be seen on the following maps:
Some residents have expressed concern about the potential impact of the project on Tawny Frogmouths, which have been observed in the area.
In relation to nesting Tawny Frogmouths, or any fauna protected by the Wildlife Act 1975 or the Native Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988, tree removal does not occur if nesting sites are observed, or if any form of native fauna is otherwise inhabiting the tree. City of Port Phillip’s contractor will either wait till an affected tree is no longer inhabited or engage a suitably qualified ecologist to relocate.
As a number of the larger trees along Bothwell Street are not being cut down, City of Port Phillip believes that sufficient nesting opportunities remain both in Bothwell Street, as well as in its immediate vicinity.
The Biolink has been designed to introduce an understorey layer of native indigenous plants selected for their biodiversity value. The indigenous garden beds were designed in consultation with Westgate Biodiversity: Bili Nursery to include plants known to attract local pollinators and other insects. We anticipate that over time these plants will plants will attract the kinds of food sources (insects and other invertebrates) which sustain local avian and reptile fauna. The Biolink is also introducing habitat features like logs, boulders and ephemeral water sources (water wells carved into mudstone) to further support local wildlife. 9 nesting boxes will also be included along the median.
The Bothwell St BioLink project aims to create a new biodiverse planting down the Bothwell St median which will support local flora and fauna and improve pedestrian amenity and enjoyment of this valuable pocket of public open space. A clear path down the median will be created with safe entry and exit points to and from neighbouring streets and footpaths.
Community Planting Day
One of the garden beds to be planted with locally indigenous wildflowers and grasses will be planted out at a community planting day to be held on Saturday 8 October. Details of the planting day are as follows:
10 am to 12 noon Saturday 8 October 2022
Community members will be planting garden beds with locally indigenous wildflowers supplied by Westgate Biodiversity.
The Greening Port Phillip Project Manager will be attending to answer any questions regarding the project.
Health and safety
Prior to planting, participants will be asked to register their name on the attendance sheet and receive a short safety briefing.
A section of Bothwell Street will be closed during the planting to ensure the safety of participants. Traffic management will be in place.
Please bring a pair of gardening gloves. Planting tools will be provided.
To register your interest in participating, please email: email@example.com - for the attention of the Greening Port Phillip Project Manager.
If you have any questions regarding this project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.