Wandana Community Centre is digging deep to preserve local biodiversity through indigenous plants.

Backed by an environmental grant from the City of Port Adelaide Enfield, the Centre’s Monday gardening group has in the past month planted 250 indigenous plants native to the Gilles Plains area at the Blacks Rd site.

“The plants add to the already established indigenous species at the site and will attract native birds, butterflies and insects, including native bees,” said Alan Shepard, the longtime caretaker of Wandana’s much-loved community garden.

“Once established these plants will survive on natural rainfall. 

‘’We have put bird boxes in as well, in the gum trees, which are working well in terms of providing nesting sites for birds such as the rainbow lorikeet and eastern rosella.”

More than 40 indigenous species are now represented on the Wandana site, including kangaroo grass, planted to attract the Southern Dart butterfly. Other species planted include Native lilacs (Hardenbergia), Running Postman (Kennedia) and Old Man’s Beard (clematis). 

“Only three per cent of the Adelaide Plains flora remains, and many revegetation projects are happening on public land, school grounds and in residential gardens,” Alan said.

“Even planting a small number of indigenous plants and grasses in your garden and verge will help to bring back the species under threat due to urbanisation.”

Every week, Alan guides a team of volunteers and participants in Wandana’s sprawling garden, tending its orchard, vegetable and garden beds, propagating seedlings and picking produce.

For more information about Wandana Community Centre, phone the team on 8215 6330.