The crucial challenge faced by land developers in 2021 is keeping sustainability and affordability in check.
Natural stewardship is no longer a 'nice to have' — government regulators, buyers, investors, and owners expect developers to put sustainability at their projects' core. Nature is a key selling-point, with trends towards biophilic design, reduced carbon footprints and community green spaces.
The simple solution for developers’ ecological management is native planting. However, many landscape designers and developers limit the variety of native plants used, missing out on an opportunity to give their project a unique point of difference in the market.
The best range of WA varieties have been woefully underutilised in the state's land development sector. There’s long been a need for in-depth industry knowledge of native plants, as well as how to adopt them into design while keeping in the aesthetic of a project. Plantrite Wholesale Native Nursery has addressed the knowledge gap issue with detailed information at plantrite.com.au and by offering no-cost consulting options for developers.
Plantrite Managing Director, David Lullfitz, makes the point that, "Using endemic species in projects adds to biodiversity, and can conserve threatened flora by incorporating them into the urban landscape." He adds, "Planning ahead with a wide variety of plants saves developers money and headaches in the long run."
Native plants: a beautiful choice for many reasons
Programs such as the Wildflower Capital Initiative showcase unique local flora in the design of public open spaces and significant infrastructure. Part of a state-wide initiative, the program focuses on enhancing the community and tourist experience of WA. It’s proof that native vegetation is a fundamental part of the Australian culture and worthy of consideration by land developers in all projects.
Development projects can do more than serve people and industry; by including native species in abundance, designs can serve a higher purpose to natural ecosystems and community standards. Landscape architects are responsible for redefining what a Western Australian landscape can look like. With a diverse natural palette from which to draw, developers and architects can challenge the status quo and differentiate from the crowd.
Protecting Australia's natural wonder
Native plants are vital for biodiversity, supporting the local ecosystem by providing food and shelter for native fauna, cleansing the air and filtering waterways.
Incorporating local Australian native plants into landscape designs and developments is necessary to protect our country's unique biodiversity. Australia's Native Vegetation Framework highlights that 40% of native vegetation remains in major population areas, with numerous endemic species classified as rare due to increased human activity.
An example of the need to support the local habitat and food sources for wildlife is the Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo plight. These birds are endangered and protected in WA due to urban development and loss of habitat. Experts predict total extinction is inevitable without massive changes. Those changes mean more developers taking greater ownership of the area they are developing, planting endemic species along with decorative native species to support an area's biodiversity.
Project consulting for land developers
The challenge for many project managers is the perceived lack of choice and availability of native species. Given reasonable lead time Plantrite can collaborate with developers and landscape architects to grow a wide range of fit-for-purpose plants to order.
An area's biodiversity relies on having a wide variety of native species; many projects may only feature half a dozen of the same species in a project area. Developers and landscape architects must carefully consider the species they choose for a project — well in advance — particularly if the project has a provenance component to it.
One nursery leading the field in WA with native propagation is Plantrite Wholesale Native Nursery. Plantrite is a family-owned business specialising in the propagation and growing of native Western Australian species. They have contributed to major landscape projects and developments throughout WA such as the Gateway WA, Northlink and Optus stadium, producing over 3 million plants per year and over 300 species of local native plants.
Plantrite's investment into state of the art equipment to aid seeding production and transplant lines allows them to produce high-quality plants ahead of delivery to the development.
The Plantrite team are passionate about greening our cities with native flora, offering a vast range of knowledge on the best practice of using natives in projects. The team readily offers plant recommendations and advice, so reach out to collaborate and achieve the best result for your next project.