With ongoing drought continuing to deplete the region’s threatened water supply, locals of the regional city of Armidale in northern New South Wales are stepping up to ensure the health of trees in a heritage-listed park.
Armidale’s Central Park was established in 1880 and many of the oaks and conifers planted in the park remain to this day. However, this year’s drought has taken conditions to a new extreme and many of the old trees are dying as a result.
The Armidale Regional Council is doing as much as they can to keep the trees alive, but with water already too scarce for other public functions there is only so much that can be spared.
"We're putting in the equivalent of about 4 millimetres a week and we don't know whether that's enough," Richard Morsley, Armidale Regional Council's coordinator of public and town spaces, told ABC News.
With the council struggling to supply enough water to keep the trees alive, they have now invited the public to donate water towards the cause if they have it available. A number of residents have gotten involved, with some even going so far as buying filtered drinking water to quench the trees’ thirst.
Not a day goes past when people don't trot in, sometimes even with a shopping trolley load full of bought water, and just leave them soaking on the mulch. It’s been great," Mr Morsley said.
The council has recently begun searching for bore water sources in the region to be better equipped to deal with future drought conditions. In the meantime, the generosity and respect local residents have for their natural environment might be just enough to keep those old trees alive.
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