Connecting with Nature on the Smith Creek Trail
Beautiful green shaded spaces add to the value of any community, and we have some stellar spaces in Playford for you to connect with nature.
One of those spaces is the Smith Creek Trail, a family-friendly shared path that winds its way along the creek from Craigmore to Stebonheath Park at Andrews Farm. It is perfect for walking, scooting and cycling and thanks to the support of a State Government Grant, 11 hectares of the trail were upgraded in late 2020.
Jo Park, Project Manager, says the upgrades will have longer term benefits for both the environment and residents, “It’s a huge natural space to manage, but by identifying the spots with the highest heat footprint, we can cool it down and improve the biodiversity with select understorey planting.”
The planting has been undertaken in ‘pods’, under established trees along the trail. These grouped plantings are expected to improve soil and weed control, reduce pests, protect fauna, cool the area and encourage more people to use the space.
The shared path is now wheelchair-accessible, key areas have been mulched and in addition to the 4,000 plus plants which are already in, there will be future planting of more advanced trees in the Craigmore section to increase tree canopy shading along the trail over time.
Jo has already had plenty of feedback from locals who have been stopping for chats on their daily walk. "Some of the regulars remarked that it was feeling like ‘our very own Linear Park’ - we’re really pleased to hear that kind of feedback, and see the interest the project is generating," Jo says.
It’s only going to get better in future years, and we encourage everyone to get onto the trail and watch it grow with us.
The planting wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Playford Greening and Landcare Group, a marvellous volunteer organisation of people who are not afraid of getting their hands dirty. One of the volunteers who has worked on the pod plantings at the Smith Creek Trail is Touch Davies.
Touch, whose name rhymes with ‘push’, is a veteran volunteer and takes it one plant at a time. Her role with the Playford Greening and Landcare Group involves sowing seeds, tidying up areas, and planting. Touch says, “Planting things is one way to feel connected to nature, and I feel like I’ve achieved something for people to enjoy. Every plant I put in will have a long life, I hope!”
If you’re interested in volunteering opportunities with the City of Playford visit playford.sa.gov.au/volunteers.
The Smith Creek Trail Upgrade is a City of Playford project supported by the Playford Greening and Landcare Group and funding support of $59k from the Department of Environment and Water, and the Department of Planning Transport and Infrastructure through the Greener Neighbourhood Grants Program. This project has been delivered with the help of Trees For Life and Greening Australia SA.
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