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 by participants in a community consultation session – water harvesting, habitat and opportunities for nature-based play.

Earthworks including 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 occurred in September 2020.

Earthworks were followed by two community working bees with 1000+ native plants installed. Around 800 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 are donating plants to the project and Thor’s Hammer is donating a bespoke recycled timber bench and funds to support planting an additional 300 tubestock.

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

23 September 2020

More information

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Article about project aim

Article on water harvesting

Article about crowdfunding campaign


Original concept sketch for edible micro-forest in Braddon. Edible trees, shrubs and groundcovers are planted into Biofilta wicking beds also known as ‘Foodcubes’. Each wicking bed stores 110 litres of water, reducing the need for supplementary watering in hot weather. Seats provide a place to stop and linger and relax amongst the greenery.

The concept is to create a display of edible climate-ready plants in wicking beds in Braddon. Native and exotic species are mixed together to provide food, shade and thrive with hotter, drier weather and extreme cold.

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

This reduces the amount of time spent maintaining displays which use small pots that require individual hand watering in order for them to look good.

Trees, shrubs and groundcovers are planted in potting mix in the wicking beds to give them all the nutrients they need during their first six months.

Plant species used and other sustainability tips will be featured here.

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.

We have partnered with Biofilta and Formboss to deliver the wicking beds and make the coreten steel surrounds.

Construction is scheduled for November 2020.

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.

23 September 2020



We are working with the Molonglo Conservation Group to create a 1000 plant climate-ready micro-forest in Lyneham. We will run 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