Yankalilla nursery has benefits for community, environment

People looking to get outdoors and help the environment while making new friends are invited to visit the community nursery at Yankalilla.

Run by the Normanville Natural Resource Centre (NNRC), the nursery is located at the District Council of Yankalilla depot site and is open to anyone keen to get involved.

NNRC coordinator Wendy White said the nursery had come a long way since her idea of starting a propagating project in the district first blossomed nine years ago, when it was set up at Yankalilla Area School.

"I started at the local school, which lent me an area, but I found it challenging - especially when their goat got into it," she said.

"Then we used to do it out the back of the centre, but that wasn't very easy.

"Then Corey Jackson (council's coastal and conservation leader) thought we could do something at the council depot, and it went from there - he did all the work and we supplied the volunteers."

Now, it has become more than just propagating; groups go out "in the field" for seed collecting, and there are tree identification days.

It is a real chance to learn about the local environment and help it improve, and some of the volunteers have become so passionate that they are doing what they can to help the little pockets in their community.

"We've got the Friends of Banksia Park now, which is an offshoot of the nursery," Ms White said.

While the nursery does not sell plants to the public at this stage, some are sold to local schools for revegetation projects, and others go to council's efforts to create habitat and food sources for native animals.

"The aim is to get as many trees into the environment as possible, because of the benefit they have," she said.

"We want to offset our carbon footprint."

A large variety of plants are grown there, from grasses and ground cover to sedges and trees.

Many friendships have bloomed through connecting like-minded people at the nursery.

"It's about getting people out there - a lot of the volunteers have made friends there," she said.

"A highlight is to see how many volunteers come out and enjoy the social side."

A planting day at Bungala Park is slated for Sunday, August 30, and anyone can get involved.

The group will meet at the barbecue area at the park in Normanville at 9.30am, but anyone can pop in at any time.

She said people of any gardening skill level could become part of the team, which meets for a working bee every Monday from 9.30am onwards.

Coronavirus put a halt to their meetings, but the regular Monday events will begin again on Monday, September 7.

For more information about the nursery or how to get involved, contact Wendy White at the NNRC on 8558 3644.