Max Risbey has hand-raised thousands of seedlings in his Rossmoyne back yard, which now line the Canning River foreshore.
After 21 years of planting, propagating and weeding, he retired this year as group leader of Canning River Residents Environmental Protection Association (CRREPA).
Mr Risbey said age was a factor in his resignation, which made it harder to do the physical labour.
He had even modified tools to make the planting process easier as group members moved through their senior years.
The former electrical engineer joined the group unexpectedly in the 1990s.
“I retired at the end of 1994 and my youngest son was doing environmental science at uni,” he said.
“I thought it would be a good idea for him to join CRREPA but what happened was I did and he didn’t do anything about it.”
Mr Risbey realised during a planting day that the group could save money if it did not have to pay commercial nurseries for the plants.
Mr Risbey collected seeds from rushes, paperbarks and flooded gums, and grew them in tubes provided by the council until they were ready to be planted by CRREPA.
He was made a life member in 2003 for his efforts.
The group is responsible for tending to the foreshore section from Bull Creek to Shelley Bridge.