Kaluna Park - A riverine bushland restoration project.

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Kaluna Park

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 other smaller weed species.

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.

An area of Kaluna Park before the start of clearing in April,1996.
The same area in September 1999 after previous clearing.
The aim is to restore the park to a natural state by removing exotic species and encouraging the growth of native species. In 1996, the Wangaratta Urban Landcare Group was successful in obtaining a National Landcare Grant of one year’s funding which enabled mechanical help in the removal of the large exotic trees.  The area is close to the uptake of Wangaratta’s water supply so as little  herbicide as possible is used (mainly cutting and painting the stems of exotics), in combination with a hand removal weed program.

In recognition of the hard work undertaken and results achieved, the project attracted ongoing support with further three years’ Natural Heritage Trust Bushcare funding, as well as 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.

Entrance to Kaluna Park
Regeneration of Wattles and Eucalypts after clearing.

The project won the Waterways/Foreshore Protection Project State Award in 1997 and again in July 1999.  In total, 2537 hours of community work has gone into the project and this continues to increase as volunteers give their time to maintain and extend the restoration of Kaluna Park. The group meets on Thursday mornings from from 8am -11am (in summer) and 9.00-12.30 (rest of the year)


 Some of the larger River Red Gums that are now seen after clearing away the introduced trees.

For more information about the Kaluna Park project please visit the website or contact the coordinator on the details below.

Ian Davidson (President) 5721 7595, Elaine Jacobsen (Secretary) 5722 1096, Sally Carr (Treasurer) 5722 3989 (send a message)

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