Plant swap program continues to grow while stamping out invasive species

Plant Swap with Michael Johnson and Carol Anderson from Bundaberg Landcare and Cr Wayne Honor.

A popular plant swap program is being expanded following a positive response from community members ridding their backyards of invasive plant species. 

Now in its fourth month, Environment and Natural Resources portfolio spokesperson Cr Wayne Honor said the Help Stop The Spread, Plant Natives Instead program was growing at a rapid pace. 

“We partnered with Bundaberg and District Landcare in October last year to deliver this fantastic program which hones in on pest plants that love to thrive in urban backyards,” Cr Honor said. 

“If we allow these pest plants to thrive in backyards they can make their way in to our natural areas and start to outcompete native species.

“The aim of the plant swap program is to keep residents informed about these particular plants so they can identify and eradicate them in a timely manner.

“As a little incentive, residents who register for the program and then remove an established plant will receive a token redeemable for one native plant at the Bundaberg Landcare nursery.”

Cr Honor said 33 landholders had so far signed up to the program while 78 vouchers for free native replacement plants had been provided to residents. 

“We have had quite a positive reception to the program with many urban property inspections undertaken and weeds removed from backyards,” he said. 

The program first targeted four pest plants that were prolific throughout the region’s urban gardens including the Broad-leaved pepper, Brazilian cherry, Easter cassia and Yellow bells.

Now, the list is set to expand to include seven more species that residents are being urged to remove. 

plant swap
The team getting ready for a busy day swapping plants.

The extended list includes: 

• Asparagus Fern (both climbing and basket asparagus ferns)
• Black-eyed Susan (Thunbergia alata)
• Captain Cook Tree/ Yellow Oleander (Cascabela thevetia)
• Guava (Psidium guajava)
• Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala)
• Mother-of-millions (Bryophyllum delagoense)
• Ochna/ Mickey Mouse plant (Ochna serrulata)

Anyone interested in participating in the ‘Help stop the spread, plant me instead’ program can contact Council’s land protection team on 1300 883 699 to arrange an inspection and identification of targeted environmental weeds on their property.