Greening Mount Gambier’s Blue Lake site

11-10-2017

Greening Mount Gambier’s Blue Lake site

SA Water has begun planting locally-sourced native trees and other plants near the Pioneer Memorial at the entrance to the Blue Lake in the state's South East.

This work follows the removal of five Canary Island Pines near the lake early last year, which were poisoned by an unknown person or people around six months earlier.

SA Water's Senior Manager of Community Engagement Matthew Bonnett said there has been ongoing consultation with the City of Mount Gambier and SA Heritage Council about the works.

"It was important the new trees complemented existing vegetation in the area and still allowed an open view of the lake from the nearby lookout, and as you approach the site from Bay Road," Matthew said.

"Three Blackwood trees are being planted, which are native to South Australia, and more specifically the Blue Lake itself. Native plants such as Poa, Lomandra and Dianella are also being put in.

"The Blackwoods were chosen for their low maintenance and the fact they grow upright, providing a natural framing of the lake.

"We're undertaking the planting with the City of Mount Gambier, who developed the landscaping plan for the Pioneer Memorial, and will be responsible for ongoing maintenance of the public area.

"The council is also planning several other works at the site, such as new lighting and extending the existing fencing."

In June 2015, local SA Water staff discovered drill holes and axe marks on the five now-removed Canary Island Pines at the Blue Lake, as well as signs they were dying, leading to suspicions they had been poisoned. The police and local council were then contacted.

""Following a detailed assessment and due to their deteriorating state, the trees were removed to eliminate any potential safety risks to people or property," Matthew said.

"We are disappointed these trees had to be removed as they were around 40 years old and formed an important landmark and backdrop to the Pioneer Memorial.

"After considering several options on the future use of the felled trees, they were sent to the Nangwarry Forestry Museum to be included in a historical display, which contains items from the past 140 or so years."

SA Water's works at the Pioneer Memorial are expected to be complete later this month.

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