Puffing Billy Railway and Johns Hill Landcare create Indigenous Garden

Forever, it seems, the Southeast corner of the Puffing Billy Railway line where it intersects with Kilvington Drive, has been the repository for a large pile of antiquated railway artifacts deemed ‘useful treasures’ by railway enthusiasts, and junk by everybody else.

As all the other corners of the intersection have been improved, the SE Corner has looked more and more in need of a facelift.

Now Puffing Billy has joined with Johns Hill Landcare Group again in a new project to create a garden showcasing indigenous plants. Also assisting the project are Emerald Scouts and the Emerald Men’s Shed.

One of the best ways of preserving our native wildlife, particularly birds, is to plant indigenous plants in local gardens. This garden will ensure everyone can see what’s good for habitat in Emerald.

Some of the artifacts will also be included in the gardens to commemorate the history of the narrow-gauge railway and railway sleepers will form the boundary of the gardens.

It will provide a pleasant walk for tourists alighting from Emerald Station.

Plantings will be identified with signs, and Emerald Men’s Shed is constructing tables and seating – also made from railway sleepers.

The first section of the garden will be grasses and low flowering plants. This section was designed to give the train drivers line of sight to the intersection as they come around the curve towards the station. JHLG has received a Cardinia Shire Beautification grant for The Grass Garden. Other grants will be sought for the next sections.

As the remaining ‘treasures’ are moved to alternate locations over the next couple of years, mid-story plantings will be included and the existing larger trees will be labelled.

Manager of Way and Works for Puffing Billy, Jason Bell has launched enthusiastically into the project, with volunteers from Nossal High School, and some pretty impressive machines.

Johns Hill Landcare Group, with the Emerald Scouts, is taking care of the design, planning, land preparation and planting. The site is now weeded, mulched and ready for planting on Saturday, June 22, 11 am – 1 pm. VOLUNTEERS MOST WELCOME – MORNING TEA

Steve O’Brien, Interim CEO of the Emerald Tourist Railway Board inspected the site recently with Anna Van Der Peet, President of Johns Hill Landcare Group. “I really appreciate, welcome and support Landcare work,” he said.

For further information contact: Jenny Lyndon, Johns Hill Landcare Group, 0418 370 523


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