The Downer micro-forest is a community initiated and community funded pilot revegetation project that cools the local landscape, creates habitat and provides hope for the future.

Jenny Edwards from Light House Architecture and Science planting an advanced Casuarina.

The landscape plan for the dusty and weedy park in the middle of suburban Downer, centred on three key principles identified during a community consultation – water harvesting, habitat and opportunities for nature-based play.

Earthworks occurred in September 2020 and involved creating water harvesting trenches and a bog, resculpting the top of the existing mounds to trap rather than shed water, grass removal from shrub beds and ripping existing soil and incorporating organics.

The earthworks were followed by three community working bees with 1300+ native plants installed. Around 500 more plants will be installed in Autumn 2021.

The plants will be maintained by a community group, led by local residents.

The project was made possible by the support of: Service One, a 100% community owned bank, Light House Architecture and Science and Federation Financial. Provincial Plants donated plants and Thor’s Hammer donated a recycled timber bench and funds to support planting an additional 300 tubestock.

The 1300th plant went in the ground during working bee 3. Image: Gary Marshall.

The ACT Government has chipped in with additional funding through the Adopt-a-park grant scheme.

The Climate Factory runs 1 hour on-line classes on ‘How to create a community micro-forest’.

Next class

30 November 2020

More information

Success! You're on the list.

Article about project aim

Article on water harvesting

Article about crowdfunding campaign


The concept of the edible micro-forest is to create a display of climate-ready food plants in wicking beds on Lonsdale St, Braddon. Native and exotic species provide food, shade and habitat and have been selected to thrive during hot, dry weather and cold winters.

The wicking beds are made of recycled food grade plastic and each 1m x 1m square module can store 110 litres of water at the roots where it’s needed most.

Trees, shrubs and groundcovers were planted into potting mix in the wicking beds to give them all the nutrients they need during their first six months. Coir is added at the base of growing medium to help water wick from the well into the soil mix.

Hardy plants used include:


  • Fig
  • Mulberry
  • Pomegranate


  • Saltbush (Rhagodia spinescens)
  • Bay
  • Feijoa
  • Rosemary (prostrate form)


  • Garlic Chives
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Vietnamese Mint
  • Lemon Balm

Seeds of the bush food plant, Warrigal Greens were planted and hopefully will germinate!

To reduce evaporation, the soil surface is mulched with sugarcane mulch.

A shallow water saucer provides a place for insects to land and drink and two insect hotels will be installed shortly to attract native pollinators.

In addition to the climate-sensitive micro-forest display we will run two seminars on ‘Edible gardening in pots’. This will be a great workshop for people living in apartments and townhouses.

Our partners are Formboss and Biofilta.

This project is funded through the City Grants program managed by the City Renewal Authority. The grants are funded through the City Centre Marketing and Improvements Levy – paid by commercial land owners in the city centre.

30 November 2020



The Climate Factory is partnering with Watson residents Purdie Bowden, Liz Tavener and Joani Cornish to develop the Watson Micro-forest initiative. The trio are raising funds to support the project. Find out more here.


We are working with the Molonglo Conservation Group to create a 1000 plant climate-ready micro-forest in Lyneham. We ran an on-line community consultation in May 2020.

This project is funded through Alicia Payne’s office.

Join the Sullivans Ck Micro-forest Facebook page here