Keep it Green: New Ground
The Convent’s 6.8 hectares of green open space offers a place of retreat and inspiration, 365 days a year. We’re working hard to ensure our heritage gardens survive and thrive for generations to come, and continue to play a vital role in connecting our growing community, enhancing health and wellbeing, and nurturing wildlife in their natural habitat.
The generosity of our community in late 2018 enabled us to kick-off the reinvigoration of Mercator Grounds – an under-utilised and neglected green space in the north-western corner of the Convent – undertaking critical arborist works on established heritage trees, installing new water tanks and irrigation systems, developing a new drought-tolerant planting regime, and installing solar-powered LED safety lighting to brighten this ‘new’ gathering space for community to enjoy.
During 2019 and into 2020, we were able to undertake the final elements of this project—including planting 470 new plants within the space. ACF procured these plants from the Victorian Indigenous Nursery Co-operative (VINC)—a community-owned and run NFP that grows plants for re-vegetation work across Melbourne’s Northern and western plains. All of these 10 different species of plants are indigenous to this area of Melbourne—and include new additions to the Convent that we haven’t previously had growing here—and once established will provide some much-needed shade for the area. Once established, these plants require little or no additional water, making them a really smart and sustainable choice.
In addition to the new plantings:
- we also undertook specialist arborist works on the heritage River Red Gum & Pittosporum trees along the northern perimeter of the Mercator Grounds;
- we were able to relocate the heritage chimney infrastructure (originally from the Laundry) to create a perimeter ‘fencing’ barrier as both an interesting historical focal point – and also to stop cars driving on the lawn so we can protect it;
- we installed two new water tanks;
- and we installed solar-powered LED lighting.
These kinds of projects are simply not possible without the support of our community of donors and partners—so a huge thank you again for your support!