New homes for our friends at the Zoo

August 5, 2022

Trees have helped earn Canberra the title of ‘Bush Capital’, and our community’s fondness for nature and the environment is no secret. When we had to remove vegetation along the Belconnen trunk sewer work site, it was our priority to reuse as much of the vegetation as possible and in some areas, such as in the location of our odour control units, to replant even more than we have removed. We know the area is a prime location for walkers and nature enthusiasts. With the help of our project contractor Diona and their community engagement team, we put a plan in motion to restore the area and to re-purpose some of the trees for other uses.

During the project, we reached out to the National Zoo & Aquarium to investigate if they could benefit from receiving some of the trees we had to remove. They were grateful because locally sourced vegetation is often hard to come by since the 2020 fires. The Zoo & Aquarium team provided a species list and after completing a site walk with the project arborist, trees were marked and then cut into sections suitable for transport and placement in the zoo exhibits. The trees provided were hardwood, making them much sturdier and slower to rot, allowing them to be kept longer and re-used across various enclosures.

The tree sections have been placed in the koala and red tree kangaroo enclosures where they mimic the natural environment these animals enjoy in the wild. Much of these species’ lifestyle consists of climbing in trees, so visitors will now be able to see these cute creatures interact with the gifted foliage at the Zoo.

This was not the only resource recovery initiative pursued through the project. We have also reused rocks extracted from the ground to build swale drains, helping to manage stormwater flows near the trunk sewer. Other materials were also repurposed to reduce as much waste as possible.

We are grateful for the collaboration provided by the team at Diona on the Belconnen trunk sewer project. We’re glad they share our passion for a sustainable environment and the re-use and recycling of resources where it’s possible. You can find out more about the Belconnen trunk sewer project on our website.