Hidden in Camperdown Cemetery in Newtown is a patch of Kangaroo Grass (Themeda australis) considered a remnant of the Turpentine-Ironbark Forests that once covered most of the Inner West. The original trees and most of the shrubs have disappeared from this remnant, but a patch of native grasses and groundcovers dominated by the Kangaroo Grass remain. Very little Turpentine-Ironbark Forest remains today and it is listed as an Endangered Ecological Community under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.
In 2000, Marrickville Council formed partnership with St Stephen's Anglican Church, Marrickville Heritage Society, Camperdown Cemetery Trust and Greening Australia for the conservation of the remnant kangaroo grassland (Themeda australis) in the Camperdown Cemetery and decided to initiate a small community project to protect and restore this precious remnant. Remnants now only exist in patches in the Cooks River Valley with only two sites in the Marrickville Area, one in Camperdown Cemetery and other near the Dulwich Hill Railway Station.
A restoration project was initiated with federal grant funding and the Camperdown Cemetery Kangaroo Grassland and Historic Plantings Restoration Strategy 2007-2011 was produced. The strategy reviews the excellent work by the Friends group, discusses changes to the remnant over this period and makes recommendations for future management.
The Friends of Camperdown Cemetery meet for a monthly working bee under the guidance of a Biodiversity Supervisor who has qualifications in bush regeneration and following the restoration strategy. They remove weeds, and clear and maintain the grave plantings within the protected area of the native grasses. With careful systematic weed removal the remnant grassland is able to naturally regenerate without additional planting.
Join this volunteer team and learn about native grasses and gain skills in bush regeneration.
For more information or if you would like to register as a volunteer, contact Council's Team Leader – Biodiversity on 9335 2222 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.