THREE years ago Adin Lang stood on the Hollis Park footpath overlooking a barren wasteland.
After planting the last of 10,000 trees last weekend, he stands contented, surrounded by a thriving habitat.
From 1931-1986 Hollis Park was a refuse site for domestic and industrial waste, and following its closure several attempts to revitalise it had been unsuccessful.
In 2014 Mr Lang got so fed up looking at the “dump” on his walks, he bought 20 trees for the park and spent his weekends shovelling mulch, weeding and planting along the path.
Mr Lang then formed Friends of Hollis Park, with the aim of restoring Hollis to its former glory by creating a green corridor from South Beach to Clontarf Hill, attracting native wildlife and encouraging locals to reconnect with the site.
“I did environmental science at uni and rehabilitation on Rottnest for a while,” says Mr Lang.
“Then I got diverted off and ended up in oil and gas—so far from this it’s not funny. This project reignited my passion.”
With the area resembling the coastal terrain of Rottnest, Mr Lang knew the native species that would be suitable for Hollis Park—the Rottnest Island tea tree, knotted club rush, eucalypts and native wisteria.
Mr Lang says the project made him re-evaluate his life and he quit oil and gas to work for Landcare Australia, funding conservation projects like Hollis Park.
“Those 20 trees,” he says, “have turned into one million.”
The native plants have already created a natural water catchment system, revitalising the dry, nutrient-poor soil and reducing runoff.
And the area is turning into an abundant food source for native fauna, including black cockatoos, bob tails and spiders. Previously a pair of endangered rainbow bee-eater pair was spotted there.
By JAYDEN O’NEIL