Subiaco: residents needed for new native verge project

Natasha Pauli is leading a research team at UWA looking at street verges. Photo: Andrew Ritchie
Natasha Pauli is leading a research team at UWA looking at street verges. Photo: Andrew Ritchie

YOUR front verge could be the perfect home for a tiny tribe of butterflies, bees, beetles and birds.

Natasha Pauli and her research team from the University of Western Australia are investigating how birds and insects use front verges, and whether native gardens in these spaces help support the wellbeing and community spirit of neighbourhoods.

Dr Pauli said more and more people across Perth are starting to convert their verges to native gardens.

“I think there’s a growing interest in the community about native plants and animals,” she said.

“I thought it would be a really interesting study to see what some of the benefits are for the local environment in terms of plants and animals, and what benefits people get out of it.”

Dr Pauli said being in such a visible space, verge gardens instantly draw attention and start conversations.

“It’s a good chance to say ‘this is what we want to do as part of our commitment to the environment’,” she said.

“There’s been some research in other cities that shows having a native garden on your verge has a contagious effect.”

The team is looking for City of Subiaco, Vincent and Stirling residents to take part in the study, who are planning to plant their verge with native plants this year or have already done so, and are willing to have their verge surveyed for birds, insects and plants along with discussing their experience transforming the verge.

The team are recruiting through the winter and aims to start their surveys in spring.

For more information, visit https://bit.ly/2s2aqE5.