WORKERS were busy helping keep lantana at bay at Oakey Creek, Oak Flats last week.
NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) joined Shellharbour City Council workers and the Oakey Creek Bushcare Group to battle lantana and madeira vine that had been choking the native vegetation around the creek. s.
The public were invited along to help plant 1000 trees, shrubs and grasses in effort to keep the invasive weeds at bay as part of National Tree Day (last Sunday).
OEH regional manager Gabrielle Pietrini said the banks of Oakey Creek were typically home to endangered ecological communities including Swamp Oak Floodplain Forest and Saltmarsh, but a canopy of weeds had been choking and replacing the native vegetation.
“The Oakey Creek Bushcare Group has been working in the area, with the support of council, over the past five years,” Ms Pietrini said.
“The group has been doing a great job of clearing dense stands of weeds and replacing them with endemic species.
“An injection of $5000 from OEH’s NSW Estuary Management Program and a matching contribution from council will complement the great work done by the Bushcare Group and pay for the native plants that will help the native ecosystem prosper.
“Nineteen volunteers helped out on National Tree Day with 500 trees planted. This will go a long way towards rehabilitating the site and restoring it to its original condition.”