Interactive & Visual

Revegetate – The Rural Urban Fringe

With over 1.6 times the size of Tasmania being cleared from Queensland’s forests in the past 46 years, revegetation and reforestation are crucial in conserving and protecting Australia’s native flora and fauna. Focusing on revegetation within the rural urban fringe, this project acts as a proof of concept combining work done by conservation group Land for Wildlife, with the funding and backing of local councils. Through revegetating a suburban block, redesigning plant profiles for a council nursery and updating Land for Wildlife’s signage, this proof of concept project aims to raise awareness for the hope of revegetation in SEQ and beyond.

The design concept aims to bring together two organisations to create lasting change in the space of deforestation and reforestation. The joint operation combines the not-for-profit Land for Wildlife (LfW) organisation with the funding and resources of local councils within South-East Queensland (SEQ).

Through documenting the process of reforestation, and utilising mostly council resources, such as council nurseries, the project aims to be a proof of concept showing that revegetation is feasible and achievable within a semi-urban area. Furthermore, the concept proposes that Land for Wildlife reduces their membership requirements to allow homeowners outside of rural areas to gain membership benefits. This increase in scope would be facilitated by the aid of local councils who would provide greater resources to LfW and its members.

Within this project the classic LfW sign, normally found out the front of member’s properties, would be altered to accommodate for expanding into the urban areas. Alongside this advertising, a series of native plant profiles endemic to the SEQ region would be designed as a concept for the type of engaging material the council could promote.

By fusing the revegetation proof of concept, the altered Land for Wildlife signage, and the native plant profile examples, it is hoped that awareness within the public would be raised towards the future of revegetation in SEQ.

An area over 1.6 times the size of TAS has been cleared from QLD’s forests over the past 46 years. With current revegetation rates doing little to combat against large scale land clearing.
Revegetation Site

Since 2006 the site had been cleared of trees and used as a dumping ground for green waste from the property. Located amongst a remnant eucalypt forest the revegetation of the site is significant in conserving native flora and fauna in the area.

Site Images
Site Plans
Revegetation Process

Before transforming the site, the designer spent many hours iterating over the plant selection to make sure they fit within the area. Some considerations included soil type, light level and moisture level. The designer specifically wanted native plants endemic (or local) to the region around site and, after some time researching began to narrow down a large list of plants which would be suitable for the site. This list was further reduced by the availability of the plants, at a local council nursery, as well as their cost.

Plant Selection Process

Since early in the year the designer had prepared the site and allowed it to settle over the winter before planning to plant in spring. In an effort not to strain himself he staged digging the 20 or so holes over the course of a few day, often digging several per day. The site was further prepared by spreading Gypsum clay breaker across the site to break down the heavy clay soils – as they are not good for new plants. Alongside this a stormwater channel was constructed to avoid erosion within the site. Once spring had sprung the designer began revegetating the site with plants acquired from a local council nursery.

Finished Revegetation
Plant Profiles

The plant profiles found at A local council nursery, where the plants were sourced from, were outdated, and disengaging. To create visual interest and raise awareness for native plants, the designer redesigned these profiles as shown below. Alongside this, the inclusion of a QR code meant that users could research and discover extra information on the plant’s endemic to the region.

Updated Plant Profiles
Land for Wildlife Signage

Land for wildlife is a voluntary wildlife conservation group with nearly 7000 members. The organisation focuses on protecting and conserving large lots in vulnerable locations from further environmental damage. While they do help members restore nature and protect their sites, through expert advice, native plants and other resources. A limitation of this service is the requirements to be accepted as a member in the first place. To be accepted as a member for example, one must have a block of land over 1 hectare, and a certain level of biodiversity, meaning that many landowners passionate about land conservation cannot reap the benefits of being a member as they don’t meet the membership requirements.

Part of the designer’s proposal is to reduce the membership requirements to allow homeowners outside of rural areas to gain access to membership benefits. The additions to the signage below reflect these changes to membership requirements as well as the proposed union with local councils.

Land for Wildlife Signage Variations
Land for Wildlife Signage Mockup
Designed by Kalebh Harwin
Revegetate - The Rural Urban Fringe

Kalebh Harwin

Excellence, ethical and sustainable design are at the core of who Kalebh is as a designer. These core beliefs serve as a foundation for his graphic design work, used to deliver the best possible solution to the client. His stylistic approach to design is that of constructivism, where his designs have a purpose, invoking lasting, not temporal change. Through problem-solving and the balance of contrast, saturation, and hue Kalebh’s designs ensure key information is displayed and delivered to the viewer in a minimalistic and efficient manner.