Image credit: Brunswick Communities for Nature
Brunswick Communities for Nature (Brunswick C4N) is a volunteer community group that assists residents to plant indigenous plants in their nature strip, garden, or other open space.
Originally started as an initiative under the Adopt-A-Tree and Merri-bek Energy Foundation’s ‘Communities for Nature’ program, the group has continued to increase native vegetation in Merri-bek front and backyards and street verges.
Creating communities for local wildlife
Brunswick C4N propagates, purchases, and distribute indigenous grasses, ground covers, and wildflowers at cost prices to Merri-bek residents all year round via their website and pop up stalls. Volunteers help conduct weeding and planting bees to help people transform their nature strips. The group also provides advice to help people new to indigenous gardening.
A lack of knowledge of the difference between indigenous plants and exotic weeds can reduce the available habitat for native animals, birds and insects. Brunswick C4N hopes to spread awareness of climate-adapted species and restore the local ecosystem one space at a time.
The group has continued to supply Merri-bek residents with plants and advice throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Resilient and climate ready ecosystems
Through increasing the number of indigenous plants in Merri-bek, plant biodiversity is improved which creates more resilient ecosystems. The greening that mitigates the Urban Heat Island effect, and plants which are drought-proof and low allergy. These practices help support ecosystems that are facing increasing stress from climate change and capture carbon emissions.
The group also brings together local members of the community and is a great way for neighbours to meet each other. Their work with other local community groups including the Upfield Urban Forest and local creek conservation groups is building networks and strengthening community ties.