Dis­used drains of­fer food for thought

Weekend Courier - - Opinion -

FIVE dis­used drains in Wel­lard are set to be trans­formed into food grow­ing ar­eas and com­mu­nity fo­cal points by the Home­stead Ridge Progress As­so­ci­a­tion.

The as­so­ci­a­tion has em­barked on the new project to re­ha­bil­i­tate the drains, which have be­come eye­sores.

As­so­ci­a­tion mem­ber Sonny Rolfe came up with the idea about two years ago af­ter scour­ing thou­sands of acres of cleared land to find suit­able ar­eas to es­tab­lish na­tive gar­dens and vegetable patches.

He said the drains, or soaks, were pre­vi­ously un­used spa­ces and cov­ered large ar­eas, up to 70m x 40m.

“You can grow an aw­ful lot of stuff in here,” he said.

“Some of the ideas we have been kick­ing around in­clude grow­ing bush tucker and food for an­i­mals like Carn­abay’s cock­a­toos and vegie gar­dens.”

Mr Rolfe said there were also plans to plant na­tive trees. The first soak to be tar­geted is at the north­ern in­ter­sec­tion of Wel­lard Road and Sil­ver­smith Street.

“When you see it in three years time, this will be a place that peo­ple will come to visit in­stead of it be­ing a waste­land,” he said.

He said the soaks drained wa­ter quickly so flood­ing would not be a prob­lem.

“We’ve got dif­fer­ent soil types so we can ex­per­i­ment with all kinds of things,” he said. “All we need now is for some lo­cal vol­un­teers and peo­ple from the nearby Prov­i­dence Es­tate and Wel­lard Vil­lage to come along.”

The Kwinana branch of the Bendigo Bank has con­trib­uted $1000 and the City of Kwinana has agreed to the as­so­ci­a­tion’s ac­tion plan for the project.

Mayor Carol Adams said it was a fan­tas­tic ini­tia­tive.

As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Robina Elis said the group formed 25 years ago to pro­mote the preser­va­tion and de­vel­op­ment of the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

She said the as­so­ci­a­tion was look­ing for new mem­bers, es­pe­cially younger peo­ple, to get in­volved and fundrais­ing to cover costs such as pub­lic li­a­bil­ity in­sur­ance. It is hav­ing a big tree plant­ing day on Sun­day, Au­gust 6, at the soak and is en­cour­ag­ing lo­cals to come along and take part.

For more de­tails, email hrpa.wel­lard@gmail.com or visit the HRPA face­book page.

Sonny Rolfe plants a seedling in one of the large drainage ar­eas near Wel­lard Road.

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