The Frankston foreshore continues to be a challenge. The summer of 2013/2014 brought little rain. Months of very dry conditions exacerbated the difficult growing conditions for newly planted tube stock.
The eroded southern beach was replenished with 15,000 cubic metres of sand in late 2013 just prior to the start of summer. Included in the works was the erection of an erosion control fence. Recent heavy winter storms have put the new works to the test with many recently placed plants being washed away. Fortunately the sand has remained on the beach.
This year working bees on the foreshore began on March 31. To date seven working bees have been carried out, including a supplementary day on the south beach. Other than the extra day on the south beach, all working bees occurred on the foreshore between Mary Street and Wells Street. Volunteers and Frankston City Foreshore and Reserves staff have planted 3200 endemic shrubs, grasses and trees to date. Two of the days were principally assigned to weed removal, particularly Gazania species which is rife in sections of the dunes.
A total of 3,800 tubes are to be planted along the Mary Street/Wells Street foreshore. These plants supplied by the Frankston Indigenous Nursery were paid by surplus funds from the Mary Street project (3000) and Beach Street project (800).
Frankston Beach Association working bees have been successful because of a dedicated of band of volunteers, aided by Chisholm TAFE Certificate 1 in Transition Education students and of course the Frankston City Council (FCC) Foreshore and Reserves staff.
The number of volunteers has increased this year thanks largely to notices in the Frankston City insert in the local Leader newspaper.
Why do people volunteer? When asked why she volunteered her time revegetating Frankston’s foreshore, Avelen Jackson replied, “to help preserve the natural environment for future generations”. Neil Robinson said he “liked working outdoors and enjoyed the company” and Dongmei Zhao says she “likes to work outdoors”.
Further Working bees are planned until mid October. Another activity this year included National Tree Day on Sunday July 27.
The Frankston foreshore needs friends who are willing to weed and plant on a regular basis. Our Association encourages and supports community volunteers, including volunteers from education institutions. Working bees are held once a fortnight during the planting season. This year Monday is our scheduled day for working on the foreshore.
CHISHOLM TAFE STUDENTS
Chisholm TAFE students regularly participate in the planting on the foreshore. Here are some comments from members of their group:
“I am working to save the environment, and planting on the foreshore will make it better for the future. I feel part of the community and it motivates me to work hard because it will assist in saving the foreshore”.
“I am proud to do this work for the survival of the foreshore and for the community to enjoy”.
“Love planting on the foreshore – we have to be careful of the little plants”.
“It was windy and cold today – we love morning tea”.
“Love doing this for the community. It is really nice to know that I can help in making the foreshore a better place”.
“It makes me happy and motivated to plant on the foreshore and survival of the little plants is very important to keep the beach healthy”.
This article was originally published in 2014.