Tuesday, October 27, 2009

BACKYARDS4WILDLIFE: Conserving Adelaide’s Biodiversity

Location: Adelaide, AU
Years: 1997

Funding: SA Urban Forest Biodiversity Program (UFBP)

Research: Biodiversity Unit: dept for Environment and Heritage

The UFBP is supporting the vision that Adelaide is recognized as a leader in sustainable environments. Recent studies have shown that less than 12% of Adelaide’s original vegetation remains since the European settlement of 1836. Habitat destruction and fragmentation has caused significant biodiversity loss.

Backyards4Wildlife is the online moniker for a Biodiversity program that was begun by the South Australian Government in 2003 under the aegis of SA Department for Environment and Heritage, with support from the Adelaide + Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board. Since then, the program has grown through the efforts of an expanded network of community groups/ citizenry across Adelaide.

If we believe that education and capital investment are vital to transforming human patterns of living, then the Backyards4Wildlife could be a model for others to emulate. While the UFBP is undertaking major conservation and restoration projects along the Adelaide shores and Forests, Backyards4Wildlife is the outreach to spread the initiative and responsibility for biodiversity downstream to individual communitites and land owners. Following on the premise that it takes many threads to weave a blanket, the citizens of Adelaide are taking their concern for water conservation and for protecting local wildlife and plant species into their own hands. Through the mentoring and assistance provided by B4W, gardens old and new are being transformed based upon biodiversity practices including:
  • Local provenance of genetic matieral found in native plant species
  • Drought tolerant species,
  • Attracting wildlife
  • Restoring the Bushland grasses and Golden wattles
  • Planting from seeds (seedlings) rather than containers
  • Locally sourced seeds
To promote its vision and objectives for achieving sustained biodiversity, B4W has developed and sources programs for the public schools including projects that teach kids about storm-water run-off, wetland habitats, butterfly gardens, woodland environments, bush trail species and ponds and bog gardens. Backyards4Wildlife has a rich collection of printed and downloadable materials on plant and grass species, gardening practices, water conservation and forest habitats.


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