Sydney Harbour Federation Trust

04/17/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/16/2024 18:11

Earth Day, everyday: Harbour Trust green initiatives

As Earth Day (22 April) approaches, it presents an opportunity for us all to make time to visit places of natural beauty and reflect on the importance of environmental conservation.

Did you know that spending more time outdoors is great for our wellbeing and health?

Here at the Harbour Trust, our everyday focus is to protect, conserve, and interpret the environmental and heritage values of the land under our custodianship. We recognise that our extraordinary places on Sydney Harbour have a unique place in the hearts of all Australians. Bushland ecological restoration works continue within pockets of bushland and revegetated areas at North Head Sanctuary in Manly, Cockatoo Island / Wareamah, Macquarie Lightstation in Vaucluse, Sub Base Platypus in North Sydney and Woolwich Dock and Parklands, as well as across Headland Park in Mosman. These works embrace control of weeds over an area of 80 hectares; maintenance of over 10 km of bush tracks and access trails; bushfire hazard reduction around built assets and replanting using local plant species of origin where needed.

In 2022-23 alone, together with contractors and partners, the Harbour Trust has planted over 2,100 native trees, grasses, trees, shrubs and groundcovers. Furthermore, projects included added plantings across all sites, as well as maintaining and planting garden beds around Biloela House and the accommodation buildings at Cockatoo Island / Wareamah, and at ASOPA, Headland Park.

Ongoing fauna and ecological monitoring and management of the locally endangered species continues at North Head Sanctuary, such as a population of long-nosed bandicoots, and the reintroduction of locally extinct species such as the eastern pygmy possum, bush rat and brown antechinus.

All this work has been strengthened by our dedicated team, contractors, wonderful army of 'blue volunteers' and partners such as the volunteer-run North Head Sanctuary Foundation who contributed approximately 4,500 volunteer hours propagating and planting many native plants across North Head Sanctuary.

Ecologically sustainable development is a key focus of the Harbour Trust. In line with the Australian Government's Net Zero in Government Operations Strategy, the Harbour Trust will develop an 'Emissions Reduction Plan' over the coming months, with the aim of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions for Harbour Trust operations by 2030.

Newly opened harbourside Wirra Birra Park at Sub Base Platypus, North Sydney is home to many native plants, rainwater capture storage and 2 dual electric vehicle charging stations powered by solar panels, joining Cockatoo Island's select buildings in capturing sunlight to power its activity. By installing these solar systems, it has helped reduce our carbon footprint, lower energy costs and increase sustainability. Important repairs and maintenance continue to keep our places safe and heritage buildings accessible, including new roofs with insulation reducing heat and noise transfer. Spot the freshly introduced purple bin collection points to recycle your glass and aluminium items on Cockatoo Island.

To celebrate Earth Day, the Harbour Trust is hosting its inaugural Swap & Save Day on 20 April at Sub Base Platypus. Giving attendees an opportunity to declutter their wardrobes, reduce consumption and extend the lifespan of their items with someone else who can use them.

Want to learn more about how we're celebrating Earth Day, everyday? Read about our Harbour Trust Green Week campaign here.


What is Earth Day?

Earth Day is a global movement that takes place every year on 22 April and is a reminder of the importance of environmental conservation and sustainability. It encourages people around the globe to come together and take action for a healthier planet and brighter future. The 2024 theme for Earth Day is 'Planet vs Plastics', calling for the end of plastics for the sake of human and planetary health, demanding a 60% reduction in the production of plastics by 2040 and an ultimate goal of building a plastic-free future for generations to come.