The Community Nurseries Network (CNN) is made up of a collaboration of seven local community environment groups  and has grown local native provenance plants for the Coorong Lower Lakes & Murray Mouth (CLLMM) Recovery Project since spring 2009.

Milang Nursery in full production stage

The recent drought combined with over-allocation of water resources left the CLLMM region on the brink of environmental, social, cultural, and economic collapse. The community wanted to be included in decision making and involved with habitat restoration in the CLLMM region and initiated a community driven nursery network to supply local indigenous plant species for the long term remediation & revegetation of the region.

Both Federal and State Government realised the value of local input and supported this initiative by allocating funding for the CLLMM Recovery Project under the South Australian Government’s Murray Futures program, funded by the Australian Government’s Water for the Future initiative. Key local environment and community groups were involved in decision making and their knowledge and commitment helped shape the CNN and how it operates.

The CNN has enabled local community to become actively involved in helping to restore biodiversity in their region. It provides volunteer opportunities whereby all participants bring and share skills and knowledge contributing to exceptional environmental and community outcomes. Local people have gained employment and increased skills in all aspects of plant propagation & environmental management.  Over the duration of the project the CNN has increased their capacity to grow larger quantities and a much broader range of native species with confidence. Training and development opportunities for local community members has attracted increasing numbers of volunteers.

The Community Revegetation program is unique because of its extensive community involvement at all stages and it is one of the largest of its kind in Australia, with over 900,000 plants in the ground so far.  To achieve maximum species diversity the CNN has welcomed the challenge of growing a large range of difficult to propagate, hard to source and 2-year species (which take longer to reach maturity) resulting in fantastic environmental outcomes and community capacity building.