Women leading Canberra’s micro-forests

Since 2020 we’ve partnered with local communities to build three urban micro-forests in Canberra. Each project has been led by local women.

Our micro-forests or tiny forests are grass roots initiatives. They are led by community leaders and planted and cared for by community.

You may not consider yourself a leader but once you’ve successfully built a micro-forest you will have earned the title.

Our Eight Step Method breaks the micro-forest making process into easy-to-achieve steps.

First micro-forest created in NSW

In 2023 we built a Dry Rainforest in Moruya. This was a first for NSW. Also in NSW, Queanbeyan, residents will build a micro-forest in late 2023.

Moruya Micro-forest 2022-2023

The Eurobodalla region, was ravaged by the Black Summer Bushfires of 2019-2020. To help build community resilience and community connections we raised over $24,000 to build a micro-forest or tiny forest in Moruya. It’s located in the grounds of St John’s Anglican Church.

The micro-forest is planted with plants from the Dry Rainforest, an endangered ecological community. It also includes a pollinator patch, water harvesting, reused timber benches and a micro street library.

The first planting occurred in May 2023 with 600 plants installed. 1200 more plants will be included in spring 2023.

Queanbeyan Micro-forest, NSW – 2022-23

Parents, Mitch Porteous and Bec Gredley-Porteous are leading this ground-breaking project in Queanbeyan.

The 1500 plant micro-forest will reduce urban heat, provide habitat for native wildlife and create a shady, inviting space for locals to meet, play and relax.

Blackall Park, Crestwood is the site for the new community-led project.

Our main sponsor is Carbon Positive Australia.

Downer Micro-forest – a pilot project

Jenny Edwards from Light House Architecture & Science planting an advanced Casuarina

The Downer micro-forest was our first pilot. We set out to test if the community would fund a tiny forest. We also wanted to test if the Miyawaki method of dense planting worked.

We raised more than $20,000 from the community and turned the first sod of soil in September 2020.

As well as using the Miyawaki method of dense planting and organic soil preparation we combined it with water harvesting.

Following the Miyawaki approach we used 4 plants per square metre. This method is said to result in 10 times faster growth than a naturally occurring forest.

The end result was the creation of an urban oasis from a dustbowl in 12 months. Some Silver Wattle (Acacia dealbata) grew three metres tall in seven months.

Watson Community Micro-forest – built 2021

Three happy but muddy workers at community planting bees. November 2021.

In 2021 we planted 1200 native plants in the Watson Micro-forest.

The Climate Factory partnered with three Watson residents to develop the Watson Micro-forest. Volunteer leaders raised $83,000 from community, business and grants.

The Landscape Plan includes a native tiny forest. Also included is a pollinator patch, a ‘dry’ creek bed and water harvesting trenches.

Nature play elements include a timber boardwalk, shopfront, ‘fire pit’ and timber logs for climbing. There is a forest classroom with boulder seating, broad pathways and a picnic table and benches.

Gawari Mada – Holt Micro-forest – 2022

Led by local parent, Jennifer Bardsley, Canberra’s third micro-forest was planted in May 2022. The new space includes a native micro-forest or tiny forest, pollinator patches, broad paths, plus water harvesting linked to a dry creek bed. Nearby in the park the group have developed a food forest.

Sullivans Creek Micro-forest – planted 2021

The Climate Factory partnered with the Molonglo Conservation Group to plant a micro-forest in Lyneham. This project was sponsored by Alicia Payne MP via a Federal Government Grant.

The tiny forest of 1000 native plants is located at the corner of Wattle and Goodwin Streets Lyneham. The area of open parkland is located within the Sullivans Creek floodplain.

This site will act as a control project as the budget didn’t allow for water harvesting or soil preparation. Our guess is investing in water harvesting and soil preparation will result in faster growth and enhanced cooling of the Downer, Holt and Watson forests.

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