Before we head into the Athelstone Wildflower Garden, Richard Smith from the Australian Association for Environmental Education revisits the concept of sustainability – in simple terms, ensuring that people live in ways so that future generation are able to live as well as or better then we do. Developing a sense of place is essential, as is a sense of agency – being able to take on a project and see results in our lifetime. Education for Sustainability is in many ways ensuring that we get as many people as possible involved in enhancing biodiversity and enjoying nature.
Black Hill is a prominent feature of the Adelaide Hills skyline, close to the suburbs of Rostrevor, Newton and Athelstone. For Park Friends, back in spring 2011, we paid our first visit to the Athelstone Wildlife Garden and met two enthusiastic volunteers, Project Coordinator Russell Dahms and Ann Taylor. A small group meet here twice a month to revegetate the wildflower garden. Russell tells of his interest, over more than 15 years in growing native plants from cuttings. While there is a vision for the whole garden, with the present level of volunteers, the main emphasis is on bush care and keeping weeds down.
While working on removing weeds, which may include Iron Grass and Bridal Creeper, Ann Taylor speaks of the history of this garden, originally in private hands. As well as local flora including golden wattles, orchids and bottlebrushes, there is much fauna as well – including lizards, echidnas, kangaroos and an occasional snake. Ann also talks about how her interest in this wildflower garden began and about the comments of the many people who visit and appreciate the work being done in this wildflower garden by volunteers in the Friends of Black Hill and Morialta Inc.
The Athelstone Wildflower Garden is managed by the South Australian Department for Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and is part of the wider Black Hill Conservation Park.
Richard Smith, SA Convener, Australian Association for Environmental Education
Russell Dahms, Friends of Blackhill and Morialta Inc.
Ann Taylor, Friends of Blackhill and Morialta Inc.