Knox Environment Society 40 years old

The Knox Environment Society (KES) is 40 years old in 2022, and recognising four decades of conservation, sustainability and community in the City of Knox.

On September 2, KES celebrated this milestone with a dinner held at Churchill Waverley Golf Club. Members were delighted to welcome Mayor Susan Laukens and Dobson ward Councillor Meagan Baker, who both spoke about the important contribution that KES has given to both Knox and conservation over the 40 years. Councillors Yvonne Allred (Baird) and Nicole Seymour (Tirhatuan) were also present.

Luke Selleck and Erica Peters spoke to the guests about KES’ Rare and Threatened Species Program. The indigenous flora of Knox is not well conserved. One hundred and eighty-five plant species, or 41% of all of Knox’s surviving indigenous plant species, are Critically Endangered in Knox, i.e. they fall into the highest risk category for local extinction. This is an indication that scores of species could die out in Knox unless corrective action is taken. Some of these species are threatened state-wide.

There are another 190 species that are Endangered and Vulnerable, bringing the total proportion of indigenous plant species that are locally threatened to 84%. Sixty-two plant species that are Critically Endangered with local extinction have never been recorded in a reserve, making private land and properties like the Healesville Freeway Reservation critical for the survival of these species in Knox.

These statistics are from Sites of Biological Significance Vol. 1, Report to Knox City Council by Graeme S. Lorimer PhD, of Biosphere Pty Ltd 2010.

So the aim of our Program is to collect seeds and cuttings (under permit) and propagate as many of these species as possible. Conservation of endangered species is vital and having them available for sale in the nursery is an important way of doing this. 

Under Kulin Nations seasons, pre-spring starts in mid-July when some indigenous plants start to flower. From September through November is the peak flowering time with many wattles, such as silver wattle, gold dust wattle, golden wattle, hedge wattle and black wattle all bursting into bright yellow colour. Pomaderris, grevilleas and purple coral peas join in and soon it will be the turn of purple and white cut-leaf daisies, blue wahlenbergias, yellow bulbines and pink trigger plants.

Many of these flowering plants are available from the KES Nursery and I encourage people to pop into the nursery and for the cost of $2 pick up one of these beauties. The nursery can be found on the same driveway as the Library, on Burwood Highway, Ferntree Gully and it is open Thursday 10-4pm, Saturday 10-1pm and Sunday 10-1pm weekly.

KES will be celebrating the glory of Spring with a Spring Festival on 8 and 9 October. Some exciting activities are planned to say thanks to all of our customers.

And on 5 November we are looking to the future. KES is planning an Open Day and nursery tour for future/new volunteers and a Kids workshop hosted by Janet Wheeler from Living with Wildlife.

Check out our website for more information about these upcoming events.

Anne Morton, KES

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