Kimberley skies have been full of drama this wet season with thunderhead clouds bringing soaking rains, replenishing aquifers and reinvigorating country. The pockets of remnant rainforests, the Monsoon Vine Thickets (MVTs), all over the region are in their full glory, lush and green, full of seedlings and animal activity. 

An abundant wet season makes for perfect tree planting weather, which is exactly what a multi-partner project led by the Kimberley Nature Project (KNP) has been undertaking. A Federal Government 20 Million Trees Grant has brought together: Environs Kimberley KNP, Mamabulanjin Green Army and Work for the Dole teams, the Shire of Broome, Country Managers from Nyamba Buru Yawuru, Yawuru Rangers from Department of Parks and Wildlife, trainers from Northern Regional TAFE, SKIPA volunteers, CoAct employment services and the Water Corporation WA, who are all working to restore two degraded MVT areas in Broome. 

One site is the Shire of Broome’s old sand quarry on Port Drive, nestled behind the cattle yards and below the sand dunes of Roebuck Bay. First developed in the mid-20th century as a sand quarry, and more recently used as a green-waste dump, the site is now being restored. Late last year the Shire removed the rubbish, brought in clean infill and landscaped the former quarry to reflect its
original landform. The site had become a bare, exposed hillside and its restoration presented some challenges, the foremost being excluding weeds and reintroducing local plant species (and keeping them alive). Thorough planning and site preparation (earthworks, direct seeding and mulching), along with above-average rainfall and hard work by the Green Army team and others, has given the project an excellent start. 

A section of the old Cable Beach Road that ran along the edge of the Monsoon Vine Thicket in Minyirr Park (from Cable Beach to Kavite Road) forms the second revegetation site in Broome. It’s a very different site from the old sand quarry, but with similar challenges: weeds and watering. Community members, the Green Army and even TAFE VET students from Broome Senior High School have been busy at this site getting plants in, keeping them watered and attacking the weeds.

Another two revegetation sites are being planned for the Dampier Peninsula with the Nyul Nyul and Bardi Jawi Oorany Rangers on their country. Whilst we are not planting ‘20 Million Trees’ we hope to plant a few thousand with this Federal Government grant right up until June 2018, and ensure the successful rehabilitation of several pockets of these beautiful and endangered plant communities, ‘the MVTs of the Dampier Peninsula’. 

This project is funded by an Australian Federal Government 20 Million Trees Grant and is supported by the Shire of Broome, Water Corporation WA, Mamabulanjin Green Army and Work for the Dole Teams, CoAct, Nyamba Buru Yawuru, SKIPA, Northern Regional TAFE and Department of Parks and Wildlife. 

By Kylie Weatherall,
Project Officer, Kimberley Nature Project