Native orchids return to Randell Park

Finding new patches of orchids on her adopted Bush For Life site is a special highlight bushcarer Jenny McInerney has enjoyed since joining four years ago.

After retiring from paid work, Jenny joined her husband Trent – a long-time Trees For Life volunteer – in taking more of an interest in the local environment. She and Trent subsequently took on responsibility for a Bush For Life site at Randell Park near Mitcham.

“I wanted to do something worthwhile in my retirement and I often walked the dogs in the area anyway, so it’s a good idea to look after an area you frequent,” Jenny said.

“We have always been interested in native orchids and it has been very rewarding to find so many types so close to the city.”

Jenny said she tries to visit the site once a week, working on the removal of invasive weeds such as boneseed, olives and bridal creeper.

“Olives that have been treated and then regenerate are terrible as they are generally so much harder to treat. And you often have all the dead branches to clear away before treating them again,” she said.

Despite the olive frustration, they are confident their hard work in eradicating the weeds at Randell Park is being won.

“We can see the difference in that it is now hard to find boneseed or bridal creeper and the number of olives is drastically reduced. I also notice more natives coming up with the wetter summer conditions.”

As well as the discovery and monitoring of new terrestrial orchids, Jenny said there are several other reasons why she enjoys her volunteering so much.

“Volunteering for Bush For Life is an outdoor activity working with like-minded people with plenty of knowledge, so it’s a social learning experience which has a positive outcome for the environment.”

To adopt a BFL site or to find out more, see our Bush For Life page