A riverine bushland restoration project.
Kaluna Park is an area of 3.7 ha approximately 300 m from Wangaratta Post Office. It adjoins Merriwa Park, a popular recreational area frequented by residents and visitors to Wangaratta. Before restoration commenced, Kaluna Park was a mass of impenetrable introduced plants such as Hawthorn, Privet, Box Elder, Honeysuckle and Blackberry, as well as many smaller weeds. In 1995 a Landcare Environment Action Program (LEAP) provided access to much of the area by a series of pleasant tracks. Since the conclusion of that program, the project has been the responsibility of the Wangaratta Urban Landcare Group and in October 1995 members started their active involvement.
Above: An area of Kaluna Park before the start of clearing in April,1996. and Below: The same area in September 1999 after previous clearing.
The aim is to restore the park to a natural state by removal of exotic species and the encouragement of native species.
In 1996 our Group was successful in obtaining a National Landcare Grant of one year's funding which enabled it to obtain mechanical help in the removal of the large exotic trees. Because the area was close to the uptake of Wangaratta's water supply our policy has been to use as little herbicide as possible (mainly cutting and painting the stems of exotics). Also a hand removal programme of weeds was introduced. The project has been greatly advanced by a further three years' Natural Heritage Trust Bushcare funding, assistance from the North East Catchment Management Authority and financial support from the Rural City of Wangaratta. By 1999 about half of the area had been cleared of exotic species. In the cleared areas River Red Gums and Silver Wattles are regenerating and the many large old Red Gums can once again be seen. Many native ground cover species are also establishing in the cleared areas and there have been supplementary plantings of seedlings grown from seed obtained in Kaluna Park. Our plant list now records 39 native species and 83 introduced plants.
Picture Above: Entrance to Kaluna Park, and below : Regeneration of Wattles and Eucalypts after clearing.
The project won the Waterways/Foreshore Protection Project State Award for 1997 and to July 1999, 2537 hours of community work has gone into the project.
Our regular workdays are Thursday mornings from from 8am -11am (in summer) and 9.00-12.30 (rest of the year)
For enquiries please contact the Kaluna Park Co-ordinator Helen Curtis on (03) 57 21 8937 or email@example.com.
Picture above: Some of the larger River Red Gums that are now seen after clearing away the introduced trees.