The Forever Project FireWise Garden Demo with Chris Ferreira

Published on Friday, 11 September 2020 at 1:04:02 PM

Over 30 residents braved the rain to attend a fire-wise gardening demonstration in the CBD on Saturday, learning how to make their own gardens more fire resilient.

Chris Ferreira and his expert team from the Forever Project narrated the installation of a sustainable, fire-wise garden from the ground up, providing insight into the reasons and science behind the design.

The garden was constructed within the Shire’s Plane Tree Precinct development currently underway, a meeting place designed to revitalise and rejuvenate the town centre.

The hands-on workshop was the last in a series funded by the federal government’s Natural Disaster Resilience Program (NDRP) which supports communities to raise their awareness and resilience around bushfire risk.

Shire Bushfire Risk Planning Coordinator Melanie Haymont said understanding and implementing the principles of fire-wise garden and property design can have a flow-on effect that benefits Denmark as a whole.

“By people managing bushfire risk on their individual properties they can have a huge impact on their whole neighbourhood’s bushfire risk. If everyone managed the vegetation on their properties we would be in a great position to manage risk across the entire shire. If people know to evacuate early and bushfire volunteers can be assured properties can be defendable, this would save a lot of time and resources during a fire event,” she said.

The Shire’s first workshops under the funding focused on the Bushfire Ready program - a community driven bushfire preparedness program helping neighbours become more connected and resilient to the impacts of bushfire.

Bushfire Ready sees community members host street meets discussing bushfire preparation. Through these events it was evident there was a desire for knowledge on fire-wise gardening principles.

Ms Haymont said the demonstration showed people they did not have to uproot their entire garden to make it fire-wise.

“People were concerned that they had to decimate their gardens and compromise biodiversity and amenity to be more fire-wise. This is not the case and we really want people to understand they can still have lovely gardens and be fire-wise following a few simple principles,” she said.

The demonstration coincided with another Shire project, the Local Planning Strategy review. Residents could stop by the Denmark RSL next door and participate in a Conversation Café, sharing their ideas with planning staff to help guide the look and feel of Denmark over the next 15 years.

For more information on the Conversation Café series visit

This garden project acknowledges the funding contribution of the Commonwealth Government of Australia and support from the WA State Emergency Management Committee.



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