Volunteers have been working hard to clear weeds from a southern park in metropolitan Adelaide. Find out how a Grassroots Grant helped them tackle the tough weeds.

Friends of Aldinga Scrub (FoAS) volunteer group have been working to remove weeds from Aldinga Conservation Park. But there are some weeds which are just too tough to handle, particularly the bridal creeper pest plant.

People at Aldinga, wearing high vis vests and weeding in a grassy area
Friends of Aldinga Scrub work to remove weeds from the park. Photo: Friends of Aldinga Scrub

Bridal creepers climb and smother native plants. The weed has a thick stem that grows underground (called ‘tubers’) and enables it to grow in the cold with little water around. But its tubers also make it hard to pull out of the ground.

FoAS needed some help with this task and applied for a Green Adelaide Grassroots Grant to boost their weeding power.

Read on to learn about FoAS Grassroots Grant story:

Why is this grant project important?

FoAS needed help to control the bridal creeper and other woody weeds, such as African boxthorn and boneseed, in Aldinga Conservation Park.

They needed a contractor who is experienced in habitat restoration to remove or kill most of the weeds so the volunteer group could keep on top of new weed growth.

This is important to look after the rare and threatened plants in the area such as the Aldinga dampiera, and several species of orchid.

Aldinga damperia, a threatened plant, close up of its purple flower
Threatened plant Aldinga damperia grows these beautiful flowers when healthy. Photo: Friends of Aldinga Scrub
Bridal creeper, a weed, in Aldinga scrub growing up over a tree and smothering native plants
Bridal creeper climbs native plants and smothers them. Photo: PIRSA

How did the Grassroots Grant help?

The Grassroots Grant enabled FoAS to employ an experienced contractor to use a special weedkiller (that doesn’t damage native plants) to poison bridal creeper in the park across an area of around 40 hectares.

If the bridal creeper was growing up around a native plant, the contractor would first pull the weed away from it before spraying to make sure the weedkiller was only targeting the weeds.

How did the project improve the environment for the community?

This unique park is now much healthier. The rare and threatened plants are free to grow without being smothered by weeds and can also be more easily spotted by visitors walking the park’s Coral Lichen Circuit.

The healthier environment also means the short-beaked echidnas, lizards, bats and other wildlife that live in the park are all happier as they have better access to the food and shelter they need to stay healthy.

Lacy coral, a light green coral-looking plant, growing at Aldinga Conservation Park
Lacy coral lichen is a now easily spotted at Aldinga Conservation Park. Photo: Friends of Aldinga Scrub

Words of advice for future grant applicants

Friends of Aldinga Scrub said to consult with your landholders when you are preparing your Grassroots Grant application.

“This will ensure that you will be getting the most beneficial outcomes for the environment” they said.

“Also chat with your contractors to develop good relationships to ensure they are clear about what weeds are to be treated and how this should be done.

“Finally, where possible, take photographs during the project to record the outcomes which have been achieved.”

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