07 November 2011

Green lift for Carlton site

Gerard Morel has transformed what was once little more than an inner-city litter dump into a vibrant natural green space.

* Nevil Schultz, Gerard Morel and Juno Petherbridge at the re-vegetation site

Nevil Schultz, Gerard Morel and biology student Juno Petherbridge on site at Trades Hall.


The RMIT University final-year Conservation and Land Management student has spent the past four years rehabilitating the site next to Trades Hall in Victoria Street, Carlton, opposite Horti Hall.

Nevil Schultz, Lecturer, School of Life and Physical Sciences, said Mr Morel had restored the original biodiverse grassland by planting several indigenous plants that represent the pre-1750 vegetation of Melbourne, including Wallaby and Kangaroo grasses.

He said the project was now being taken to the next stage in a cross-cultural collaboration of two until now unrelated student groups within the University.

"Gerard agreed to involve biology students from a preparatory program," Mr Schultz said.

"With Gerard's help they will maintain the site, do weeding and continue to upgrade the site with indigenous plants.

"This area has been like a breath of fresh air now since Gerard led the original establishment of this mini grassy woodland site."

Mr Schultz said Mr Morel had owned the project from day one by approaching Trades Hall with the rehabilitation program.

"Trades Hall thought it was a great idea and offered to pay for the plants and mulch. So it's very much a joint community effort," he said.

"This site is close to RMIT buildings and highlights one of RMIT's main themes of being part of a living city.

"It's a great project that has brilliantly softened the urban environment. This greenery helps suck up air pollution and provides vital landscaping for one of our city's most historic buildings," Mr Schultz said.

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