GemLife Woodend’s unique protected forests are set to flourish this springtime with plans to plant more than 2500 native seedlings.
Part of a five-year plan, the native revegetation program will include 51 seedlings of the rare Black Gum Tree, some of which will be planted in the wider community in consultation with the Macedon Ranges Shire Council and Woodend Landcare. Last year, the council invited GemLife to help safeguard this endangered tree species, a unique variety of eucalyptus tree that, in Victoria, grows exclusively in Woodend.
GemLife Woodend is already home to a thriving population of these extremely rare trees, with hundreds located throughout the resort’s protected forest areas – two expansive swathes of woodland running from the north of the site to its southernmost boundary. Ben Livingstone, GemLife General Manager, said the protected forests were a big part of the site’s charm.
“I love the character that these very special green-belts give to the resort. They add standout beauty and create an inimitable look and feel that simply can’t be found anywhere else in Victoria,” he said.
“GemLife Woodend’s beautiful natural greenbelts protect our robust population of Black Gums and create a magnificent oasis for other local native species too.”
Resort Manager Tony Liversidge, a passionate gardener with over 15 years’ experience in landscape gardening, is overseeing the initiative and working closely with the council and Woodend Landcare in readiness for the spring plantings.
“I love the protected forest areas and am looking forward to working on the revegetation program and watching the plants and trees grow. It’s going to be absolutely fantastic,” he said.
In Victoria, the only known Black Gum populations lie within a four-kilometre radius of Woodend township. Most of these populations are small and under threat from weeds, grazing, drought and soil compaction. Black Gums are listed as endangered by Commonwealth and State environmental legislation.
Other native flora to be planted at GemLife Woodend include Silver Wattle and Australian Blackwood trees, Snow Daisy, Golden Tip and Grey Parrot bush shrubs, as well as groundcover plants such as Black-anther Flax-lily, Tall Rush and Kangaroo Grass.
GemLife plans to involve residents in this special project to give them a sense of ownership of the resort’s unique natural forest.
“There’s already strong interest and residents ask me nearly every day what’s going on. They’re keen for the next stage!” said Tony.
“After the native seedlings are planted, I can’t wait to see the colour in springtime next year. It will be incredible.”
The Council, together with the Threatened Species Conservancy and Woodend Landcare, is working with GemLife to support Black Gum maintenance and revegetation initiatives.