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Connecting with nature on the Smith Creek Trail

Smith Creek Trail is a family-friendly shared path in Adelaide’s northern suburbs that winds its way along the creek from Craigmore to Stebonheath Park at Andrews Farm.

Thanks to the support of a State Government Grant, City of Playford contracted Greening Australia to help deliver green upgrades for the trail.

‘Pods’ of native species have been added to Smith Creek Trail for habitat and urban cooling. Credit Darren Clements Photography.

Luke Kingston, Operations Lead for Greening Australia’s Nature in Cities program in Adelaide, said: “We’ve helped plant native species across 11 hectares of the trail, and will continue to look after the young plants, which will provide much-needed habitat and also help create a cooler corridor for people walking, scooting and cycling along the path.

“Through Nature in Cities, we’re working to create restored, reconnected and resilient urban habitats in our cities and suburbs where both people and nature thrive – so this project is exactly the type of outcome we want to see as we work towards our 2030 goals.”

Jo Park, Project Manager at City of Playford, said the upgrades will have longer term benefits for both the environment and residents, “It’s a huge natural space to manage, but by identifying the spots with the highest heat footprint, we can cool it down and improve the biodiversity with select understorey planting.”

The planting has been undertaken in ‘pods’ under established trees along the trail. These grouped plantings are expected to improve soil and weed control, reduce pests, protect fauna, cool the area and encourage more people to use the space.

The planting wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Playford Greening and Landcare Group, a dedicated team of volunteers who love getting their hands dirty.

Jo from City of Playford (L) and Touch from Playford Greening and Landcare Group (R) adding guards to protect seedlings. Credit Darren Clements Photography.

The shared path is now wheelchair-accessible, key areas have been mulched and in addition to the 4,000 plus plants which are already in, there will be future planting of more advanced trees in the Craigmore section to increase tree canopy shading along the trail over time.

Jo has already had plenty of feedback from locals who have been stopping for chats on their daily walk. “Some of the regulars remarked that it was feeling like ‘our very own Linear Park’ – we’re really pleased to hear that kind of feedback, and see the interest the project is generating,” Jo says.

A local family out enjoying the trail. Credit Darren Clements Photography.

It’s only going to get better in future years, and we encourage everyone to get onto the trail and watch it grow.

This news item is adapted with permission from the original story shared by City of Playford. The Smith Creek Trail Upgrade is a City of Playford project supported by the Playford Greening and Landcare Group and funding support of $59,000 from the Department of Environment and Water, and the Department of Planning Transport and Infrastructure through the Greener Neighbourhood Grants Program. This project has been delivered with Greening Australia and Trees For Life.

Read more about Nature in Cities in Adelaide