WITH the opening of the Nature Parks’ exciting new Penguin Parade visitor centre now only two weeks away, people power is transforming the surrounding landscape with a mighty revegetation project to create 6.7 hectares of extra habitat and new homes for over 1400 Little penguins.
Increasing habitat for penguins and other island wildlife has been a major motivation throughout the visitor centre development project right from the start.
Well before the first sod was turned, planning for the accompanying landscaping and habitat restoration was underway.
From 2017, the project team worked closely with landscape designers and builders to develop a landscape plan that supports the unique wildlife and natural and cultural values of the area.
The project will use tens of thousands of indigenous plants exclusively sourced from the local Barb Martin Bushbank, whose volunteer brigade collected local seed and grew the seedlings.
“This large-scale project will ensure not only flora biodiversity and sustainable wildlife habitat, but also an enhanced penguin viewing experience for visitors,” says Nature Parks CEO, Catherine Basterfield.
“Over the past two years, we have put in 26,326 plants across the site and there are more to come over the following years.
“This has been achieved with the help of many volunteer groups including RACV members, university, school and corporate groups and Nature Parks staff and volunteers.”
In a recent two-day planting blitz, 50 Nature Parks staff and volunteers managed to get in a staggering 3000 grasses and creepers, 85 trees and 233 penguin nesting boxes.
The entire building project has required careful staging and planning due to the sensitive nature of the site and its resident Little penguins.
Ultimately though, they will be the winners with extensive new habitat that they will share with the Peninsula’s other wildlife residents.