Thinking 50 years ahead!

Luise Bussert is a Communication Design Student at Potsdam University, Berlin, Germany. She recently had a 4 month internship at Art Gallery of WA as part of her studies. We appreciated her help with Coastcare work. Luise sent us this post for our blog.

Luise removing follicles from grass tree spike

“ The first time I set foot on Australian land I was truly impressed by the flora and fauna! Not only geckos, quokkas, kangaroos and cockatoos, also the bottle brush, the kangaroo paws and the grass trees were really cool!

After visiting “Bold Park” and riding my bike along the coast from Cottesloe to Fremantle, I was left wondering what I could contribute to protect and preserve the diversity of Australia for posterity. I am certainly aware, that there is a great deal to do – approximately 100 species of plants are already extinct since the European settlers arrived – and so many of them are still near-threatened because of other aggressive species brought in by the settlers.

So, I took advantage of the opportunity of doing “coast care”. On a Sunday morning you could see me, sitting in the dunes with a pair of gloves and a sack beside me. I was pulling weeds, supported by other members of “coast care” (they had to explain to me, which plants I had to pull out!). By midday I was very happy and kind of proud to see the dune without  the weeds! We were celebrating this with much coffee and cookies – what a useful activity for a Sunday, isn’t it?

In addition to that I was extracting the seed from a grass tree (as you can see in the picture below). The new plants grown from that seed will grow very slowly, probably I can only see a trunk in 50 years…but it is very interesting for me to see, how important the grass tree is: it provides lots of nectar and seeds for many bird species and provides food and shelter for insects! It is just a unique and characteristic plant for the environment. I really enjoyed doing something sustainable – while drinking a glass of red wine.”

Thanks Luise and Best wishes for your future.

Grass tree spike, ripe follicles with seed

Hand weeding at Dutch Inn groyne

Jade cutting grass tree spike for seed collection