To increase community awareness of and provide indigenous plants for a sustainable environment.
SDCN Inc. is a not for profit community plant nursery founded in 1995 following the closure of the former Shire of Sherbrooke plant nursery at Upwey. Earlier that year a group of people representing the Save the Dandenongs League, National Trust, Save our Creeks groups and council representative met at the Kallista Mechanics Hall to form a community plant nursery.
From mid 1995 plants began to be grown by the group in member backyards for sale to community and council. The Kennett Government appointed commissioners then provided a site at the Birdsland Reserve for the establishment of a community nursery which after several years of development was formally opened by the Minister for the Environment, Cheryl Garbutt (MLA) in 2000.
SDCN was awarded the community group of the year award by the Mayor of the Shire of Yarra Ranges in 2002. The nursery committee continues to develop the Birdsland Nursery site into a more sustainable community facility from profits generated by plant sales. The nursery is managed by a committee elected annually.
Our group continues to seek grant funding from the Commonwealth and State Governments towards increasing community awareness of the need toprotect and enhance the natural environment across private and public land.
Plants are grown from plant material collected in the Southern Dandenongs region stretching from Mount Dandenong to Silvan to Gembrook to Narre Warren to Churchill National Park to Dandenong Creek covering the catchments of Upper Western Port and Upper Port Phillip Bay. This area coincides with the northern section of the Gippsland Plain and the southern section of the Highlands – Southern Fall bio regions.
Highlands – Southern Fall bio region is the southerly aspect of the Great Dividing Range. These dissected uplands have moderate to steep slopes,high plateaus and alluvial flats along the main valleys. The geology predominantly consists of Palaeozoic sediments, intrusive volcanics (granitic material) and extrusive volcanics acid volcanics e.g. rhyolite). The brown and red porous earths (Dermosols) occur in the upper reaches and yellow and red texture contrast soils (Chromosols and Kurosols) graduate down the valleys.
The dominant vegetation is Shrubby Dry Forest and Damp Forest on the upper slopes; Wet Forest ecosystems in the valleys and Montane Dry Woodland, Montane Damp Forest and Montane Wet Forest ecosystems are in the higher altitudes.
Gippsland Plain bio region is flat low lying coastal and alluvial plains with a gently undulating terrain dominated by barrier dunes and floodplains and swampy flats. The soils associated with the upper terrain are texture contrast soils (Dermosols and Chromosols), supports Lowland Forest ecosystem. The dunes are predominantly sandy soils (Podosols and Tenosols) supporting Heathy Woodland and Damp Sands Herb-rich Woodland ecosystems. The fertile floodplains and swamps are earths and pale yellow and grey texture contrast soils (Hydrosols) supports Swamp Scrub, Plains Grassy Woodland, Plains Grassy Forest,Plains Grassland and Gippsland Plains Grassy Woodland/Gilgai Wetland Mosaic ecosystems.
The community nursery is supported by the Shire of Yarra Ranges, City of Casey, Cardinia Shire, Melbourne Water, Parks Victoria and Bendigo Bank (Upwey and District Community Bank). Our committee wishes to thank these organisations for their support and assistance. In 2015 the nursery was in operation for 20 years.
SDCN is a financial sponsor of the Australian Platypus Conservancy – a scientific research group committed to furthering knowledge and community awareness of platypus and the Environmental Defenders Office (Victoria Branch).
SDCN grows plants for:
- Yarra Ranges Council
- Cardinia Shire Council
- City of Casey
- Melbourne Water
- Landcare and friends groups
- Community groups
- Environmental restoration contractors