WCIPP Inc recognises the Wurundjeri/Bunurong people as the traditional custodians of the land on which the nursery is located.
In 1987, a young Geoff Lodge, son of our esteemed Alan, embarked on a project as part of his Burnley University studies. By propagating hundreds of plants and encouraging dozens of local residents to participate in a huge working bee in Blackburn Creeklands the idea of a community nursery was born. With the support of then Mayor Cr. Wendy Reid and with a bi-centenary grant, the nursery, with the name Nunawading Indigenous Plant Project (NIPP), commenced in a small area at the rear of the Horticultural Centre in Jolimont Rd. Forest Hill with the aim of propagating plants indigenous to the Nunawading municipality from seed and plant material collected in the area.
After a couple of years Janine Nechwatal joined the group coordinating nursery activities and early record keeping of our production and sales activities.
First sponsored by the Blackburn Lake Sanctuary Advisory Committee, the first independent official committee meeting of NIPP was held on 4 May 1992. Enthusiastic volunteers from the newly formed bushland parks advisory committees joined in.
Hundreds of local indigenous plants were propagated. A two-way cooperation developed, building up the nursery and at the same time supporting the groups as they in turn were tackling the task of protecting, enhancing, enlarging many of our parks.
Janine retired at the end of 1995, going on maternity leave, before obtaining a permanent place with a nearby council. Her knowledge and guidance had been invaluable in our early years.
The Middle Years
Liz Henry accepted the position of nursery coordinator in February 1996. With an extensive background in horticulture and nursery work Liz worked tirelessly until December, 2012.
However, by January 2013 it was decided that a paid (even part-time) coordinator was not a viable financial situation. Since then the nursery has been an entirely volunteer organisation.
Margaret Witherspoon then took on the role of coordinator, which she currently still holds.
Our vision had expanded to growing plants for our local council, schools, community groups, Government authorities, landscape gardeners and home gardeners. Hand in hand with all the practical aspects of the nursery goes an ever-increasing awareness of the need of education in plants species (indigenous and weedy!) and propagation techniques.
In 1999, NIPP became incorporated (for the relevant Rules see here: WCIPP RULES) and the name was changed to Whitehorse Community Indigenous Plant Project Inc. (WCIPP). With extensive help and funding from Whitehorse City Council, plus grants from various organisations and our own years of savings, WCIPP moved to its own site at which time we also finalised the name for the nursery, “Bungalook” a Wurundjeri word for Stringybark.
WCIPP/Bungalook continues to receive support from Whitehorse Council. The nursery is run by a committee, which is formed by representatives from Bushland Parks Advisory Committees within the City of Whitehorse, and from the wider community.