23 September 2021

Facelift for 'natureless' Mabo Boulevard median strip following Bonner community feedback

| Dominic Giannini
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Mabo Boulevard in Bonner

The Mabo Boulevard median strip in Bonner will get a facelift this spring. Photo: Damien Larkins.

The Mabo Boulevard median strip in Bonner is due for a facelift after residents said they wanted new trees, boulders and gaps in the foliage to act as unofficial pedestrian refuges.

Yerrabi MLA Suzanne Orr released her survey results for the rundown median strip after she received more than 300 responses from local residents.

“The median has remained as a natureless median strip, containing rocks and rubbish that has always been an eyesore for Bonner residents,” she said.

“Many residents have been telling me for years they would like this median improved so it provides an inviting entrance to the suburb.

“Bonner residents wanted to see Mabo Boulevard improved, so it was vital to allow residents to provide their direct input.”

Respondents were almost equally split between crepe myrtles or a mix of banksia and melaleuca trees, with the former planting itself just ahead of the other two.

Crepe myrtle tree

Around 30 crepe myrtle trees will be planted along Mabo Boulevard in the Gungahlin suburb of Bonner. Photo: National Arboretum Canberra.

Three in four residents also said they would like to see boulders included where possible, and four in five said they wanted gaps in the trees along the boulevard to act as unofficial pedestrian refuges along the median strip.

An ACT Government spokesperson said they had been working with the Gungahlin community about how to enhance the median strip after the original plantings within the stormwater collection swale in the middle of Mabo Boulevard were not successful due to drought.

Around 30 small crepe myrtle trees will be planted on sections of the median strip to provide shade and “improve the amenity of the streetscape”, said the spokesperson.

“The ACT Government will plant these trees on sections of the median strip to provide shade and improve the amenity of the streetscape. The trees will complement water-sensitive urban design elements on the median to better manage stormwater runoff.

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“Canberra’s urban forest is one of the things that makes our city such a great place to live. We are constantly engaging with the community on appropriate tree planting locations to renew and increase our canopy cover.

“Gungahlin residents have provided some very helpful feedback.”

The deciduous trees are expected to be planted as part of the upcoming spring planting program during the next few months. The trees reach a height of around six metres and feature beautiful summer flowers and a blaze of autumn leaf colour.

Transport Canberra and City Services will be responsible for the management of the trees planted along the median strip, including watering, pruning and weeding.

Original Article published by Dominic Giannini on The RiotACT.

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Crepe myrtle are deciduous. They will look dead for half the year and provide no shelter or food for birds. Banksia would provide food for wildlife during winter when it is quite scarce.

Although the flowers will be pretty for a few months of the year, it’s a shame this wasn’t taken into account.

This information was not on the survey so most participants probably didn’t know this.

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