Current Projects

Breeding Threatened Plant Species

The report, ‘Sites of Biological Significance in Knox’ (Lorimer 2010), identified that, according to the international standard ‘Red List’ criteria of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN 2001), 185 plant species, or 41% of all of Knox’s surviving indigenous plant species, are Critically Endangered in Knox. This means that they fall into the highest risk category for local extinction. This is an indication that scores of species could die out in Knox over the next decade – a remarkably rapid collapse of biodiversity – unless corrective action is taken. Some of these species are threatened state-wide.

This project involves the propagating and planting of 78 of the most threatened plant species in the area. Seeds and other propagation are being collected locally, grown in our nursery and then planted into the wild population and at other appropriate sites. Some seed will be stored at the Melbourne Indigenous Seedbank.

This biodiversity project will increase pollination success, gene pools and the number of colonies of species in an attempt to prevent extinction of wild populations. Monitoring will show to what degree the planting is successful.

Gardens For Wildlife

The Gardens for Wildlife (G4W) program is in partnership with the Knox Environment Society and the City of Knox Council and is designed to encourage residents and businesses in Knox to create an area in their garden for local wildlife. This can be done by providing habitat planted with locally indigenous, Australian native or suitable exotic species.

The program is free to join and once you have registered, an assessor will visit to provide advice and answer any questions you may have about your garden space and the type of wildlife you would like to attract. After the visit you will receive a 'report pack' containing a written assessment, a Certificate of Achievement, a Gardens for Wildlife booklet, a letterbox plaque to help promote the program and further garden and local wildlife information.

See Gardens for Wildlife for more information.

Green Streets - Planting your Naturestrip 

Knox City Council has recently changed the Green Streets policy allowing residents to landscape and plant their naturestrips and we are ramping up our production of naturestrip suitable species so you can get planting!

See Naturestrip plantings for more info.

Ferntree Gully Rail Reserve 

Ferntree Gully Rail Reserve is a small parcel of remnant vegetation in the hear of Ferntree Gully along the railway line. The area was managed by metro Trains and was becoming more and more degraded, so The KES has stepped in to protect it.  

See Ferntree Gully Rail Reserve for more info.

Work In Schools & Kindergartens

The KES supports local schools and kindergartens by providing selected boxes of plants for free when other plants are bought from the nursery, usually at half price. We encourage responsible planting and care for these plants by way of a plant request form. KES is also available to provide to schools and kindergartens for their planting projects.

For more information, please go to our Plant Donations page. 

Past Projects

Sword-grass Brown Butterfly Recovery

The Sword-grass Brown Butterfly Project (SGGP) was initiated in 1993 by the Knox Environment Society in conjunction with the Knox City Council. We aim to link the populations of the Sword-grass Brown at Wicks Reserve in The Basin and the Old Joes Creek Retarding Basin in Boronia. This will be achieved by planting Saw-sedges, the food-plant of the butterfly's larvae in suitable reserves and schools. Local residents are invited to join in by growing the food-plants on their property.

The Sword-grass Brown Butterfly is an attractive chocolate-brown butterfly with orange markings and a blue eyespot on each forewing and an eyespot ringed with orange on its hindwings. It has a wingspan of up to 7cm.

A favourite food plant of the Sword-grass Brown is the Red-Fruit Saw-sedge, Gahnia sieberiana. The Saw-sedge grows in thickets with arching, narrow, strap-like pale-green foliage with sharp edges. Each fruit tuft produces multiple stems bearing heads of minute flowers in Spring. These stand two metres plus tall and when mature contain numerous bright red seeds. They like moist areas and are part of our indigenous bushland.

"The survival of the Sword-grass Brown Butterfly is threatened by the rapid destruction of the Gahnia swamps in which it breeds, as these swamps are often in the path of urban development."

Sugar Glider Monitoring Project

KES contributed $3,850 towards a Sugar Glider Monitor research project conducted by the Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology, Melbourne University, under the auspices of the Royal Botanic Garden. The Sugar Gliders will be radio tracked (refit radio collars) to determine how much they rely on urban bushland habitat and the residential interface. The total cost of the project was $18,000.