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SA Water has planted thousands of native seedlings at the site of Kangaroo Island’s new desalination plant in Penneshaw as part of its efforts to create an enjoyable green space for the community.  

Using 20kg of Wallaby Grass seed and more than 2,600 native plants, the revegetation work forms part of a broader concept plan to landscape the area surrounding the new desalination facility, including additional public walkways and three stormwater retention ponds.  

SA Water’s Land and Recreation Officer, Andrew Vredenburg, said it’s fantastic to see the first seedlings in the ground. 

“Having spent several years developing the landscaping concept plan together with the community, to see the first seeds now planted is an exciting milestone in making this a beautiful, natural space for locals and tourists to enjoy,” Mr Vredenburg said. 

“A key element of the design has been to incorporate a variety of native plants suited to the conditions experienced on Kangaroo Island, including species like the Mallee Wreath Wattle, Slender Velvet Bush, Kangaroo Island Narrow-Leaved Mallee and Round-leaf Kangaroo Island Correa. 

“The site will also include several Drooping Sheoak trees which, when fully grown, will provide important habitat for the population of Glossy Black-Cockatoos who call the Island home.” 

Mr Vredenburg said that another special feature are the dozens of Yacca grass trees – a native species to the island – that were successfully relocated from a land clearing site in 2023 near Kohinoor Hill. 

“These are plants that would otherwise have been lost, but thanks to our work with local nursery Aengima Natives, they were able to be repurposed in our landscaping of the desalination plant site.  

“Native plantings are a terrific way to create a visually appealing landscape in a water wise way and we look forward to seeing the thousands of plants, shrubs and grasses up and sprouting ahead of the new desalination facility producing first water in coming months.” 

Once operating, Penneshaw’s new desalination plant will work in tandem with SA Water’s existing nearby desalination facility and Middle River Water Treatment Plant to increase the security of Kangaroo Island’s drinking water supply.  

Image: StockMediaSeller/shutterstock.com 

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