March Madness in the Pilbara

March was a very busy month for our Pilbara team as we hosted several market stalls, workshops and sold a couple of hundred Pilbara native plants – as well as starting to propagate a couple of hundred more. Last but not least we hosted another book launch for the new Pilbara Native Plant book.

The activities kicked off with the arrival in early March of the Radiance of the Seas, a cruise ship with 2,500 passengers. Port Hedland hosted a market event for their arrival and passengers who attended were keen to purchase the book and our Pilbara Native Plant drink coolers – very useful on a sunny cruise. Special thanks to our local volunteer Doris Tuefel who manned the stall for all three Cruise Ship Market stalls this season.

On 14 March we launched our ‘Get Your Native On!’ series of events. We started by selling locally propagated Pilbara native plants at the West End Markets.

The species available were chosen by the Pilbara Program Manager and co-author of our new book, Mike Clark. They were selected for their low water usage, ability to tolerate full sun and fast growing capabilities.

The Town of Port Hedland nursery propagated these plants for us as part of our joint Pilbara Native Plant Project. The aim of this project is to:

  • Increase the amount of locally propagated Pilbara native plants species available for sale to the public.
  • Conduct community plantings to increase the number of local native plants in the area.
  • Educate the community about our local native plants species.

The native plants stall was a huge success and something that we will be undertaking for the rest of the year. In fact to kick us off for the next markets in June we ran a Native Plant Propagation workshop the following Saturday morning. This well-attended event saw participants learn about what potting medium to use, whether the seeds needed to be sown into trays or individual pots and the different treatments each seed needed in order to germinate. They then got their hands dirty and helped us plant a range of different species including; Sturt’s Desert Pea, Bird Flower, Pink Billy Buttons, a range of Mulla Mullas and the Dampier Pea, as well as a range of local grasses.

The final workshop for the month was a Community Planting Day that was held on Saturday 28 March. Volunteers helped us to plant a range of local native plants at the Port Hedland Visitor’s Centre garden. Each plant also received an identification tag and an educational brochure is being developed so that visitors to the area can do a self-guided tour of the garden and learn about our lovely natives.

To top off this busy month we had the second launch of the new Pilbara native plant book. While the official launch was held in Port Hedland in December 2014 we didn’t want Newman to miss out. Held at the Newman Visitors Centre on a beautifully rainy evening, attendees were able to meet one of the authors, Mike Clark, and pick up a signed copy of the long-awaited publication.

Our National Director of Conservation, Todd Berkinshaw attended the event and was impressed by the enthusiasm of the people who attended. “A lot of people were really keen learn more about their local flora with many people asking about education and volunteer opportunities with Greening Australia” he said.

If you’d like further information about any of these events or other programs in the Pilbara, or to purchase a copy of the Pilbara native plant book, . Pip is based in our Port Hedland office at 18 Wedge St, Port Hedland.