Swap a weed for a native

As Europeans took their first tentative steps upon this ancient landscape they traversed an environment free of invasive species. With the passage of time external influences were brought to bare. Exotic invasive weeds were soon to take an ecological foothold.

Today weeds are the biggest threat to the ecological integrity of our bush capital. Major weed invasions have changed our natural diversity. These changes threaten the very survival of ecosystems. Weeds out compete native flora for sunlight, nutrients and space.

Exotic weeds have invaded all of our native vegetation communities bringing about structural change, altering species composition, increasing fire frequency, reducing the abundance of native communities.

This coming weekend we have a wonderful opportunity to rip out those nasty invasive weeds replacing them with magnificent bush friendly natives. The bush capital’s annual spring weed swap is once again springing into action.

Many residents are simply unaware that the hardy little plant that seems to do so well is in fact a nasty weed which can easily escape over the back fence. As a community we are fortunate to have a myriad of opportunities to connect with nature right here on our collective doorstep. This wonderful access also means we need to be mindful of invasive species springing from our yards and impacting our natural environment.

Whether you have an established garden, a yard that is a bit wild-and-woolly or live close to a nature reserve, take a moment to cast your eye around with a view of swapping that nasty little backyard invader for some beautiful native plants.

Come along and learn about the benefits of having beautiful native plants in your garden, the dangers of invasive weeds and importantly how to combat them. Everyone is more than welcome even if you don’t have any weeds to swap.

A range of attractive native plants will be available for swapping, including small trees such as wattles, shrubs including grevillea and correa, groundcovers like rock daisy and native tussock grasses. These native species are supplied by local growers being bush hardy for the Canberra region.

Working in partnership with passionate volunteers from Australian Native Plants Society we will be hosting the great weed swap at Corkhills Green Waste Recycling Centre at Mugga Lane and Canberra Sand and Gravel Green Waste Recycling Centre on Parkwood Road Belconnen between 8.30 am to 4.30 pm this weekend. We would love to see you there.

Brett Mac

Brett McNamara - Regional Manager with ACT Parks & Conservation Service

Brett loves our national parks almost as much as the Gang-gang on his uniform. He is prone to using the word 'majestic' when referring to the bush capital. He loves talking. A lot. His favourite animal is the playful Platypus.

Article also appeared in The Chronicle