The Friends of Organ Pipes National Park date back to 1972 when the park was proclaimed, solely due to its unique geological features. Unfortunately the land surrounding the Organ Pipes, Rosette Rock and the Tessellated Pavement had been severely degraded over the years. Attempts at agriculture on this marginal land had caused the loss of indigenous (local native) vegetation and animals, which were replaced with weeds such as Boxthorn and Artichoke Thistle along with Rabbits. Photo: Horehound One of the dominant weeds facing the original members of FOOPS

Callitris glaucophylla - One of the significant pieces of renmant vegetation in the Jackson's creek valley The group then known as the Maribyrnong Valley Committee began a bold (at the time) attempt to restore the land to (as near as possible) its pre-white settlement condition.

Important initial research the group made was to try to identify what species of plants would have occurred in the area and what type of provenance (soil type, aspect, topography etc.) each plant preferred. The Friends had to mainly rely on the few bits of remnant indigenous vegetation that remained in the area plus historical records (from the time of settlement) to piece together their plan.

A map of seven different planting zones was established to guide the Friends in their restoration. Once the Friends knew what to plant and where, they set about the task of propagating new plants from those surviving in the park (and surrounding areas). When these plants were ready they would (sometimes with the help of other volunteer organisation's) get down to the task of putting them in to the ground. Friends group planting the vegetation zone closest to the creek - known as the Riparian Zone
Jackson's Creek Valley an ongoing transformation. The transformation of the Organ Pipes National Park from weed scape to an area of botanical significance has been an ongoing process that still continues today. A measure of its success has been the successful reintroduction of wildlife such as Sugar Gliders and the natural return of a range of bird species kangaroos and wallabies to the area. As well as lobbying relevant organisations, the group holds monthly working days open to anyone who is interested in coming along. The group also participates in the protection of several other significant flora and fauna reserves in the Keilor Plains area. Such as the St Albans Grassland Reserve and the Holden Flora Reserve

Benefits of joining FOOPS
Becoming involved in the group is a real benefit for anyone interested in our natural environment. Students can come along to gain valuable work experience. Anyone can come along and gain a greater appreciation of the area's natural environment by getting to know the local plants and animals. Being a member of Friends of Organ Pipes gives you the satisfaction of contribution towards a better environment and working towards the protection of our embattled ecosystems. Working days also offer a great opportunity to escape suburbia and immerse yourself in a fulfilling day, experiencing nature in a National Park without having to drive three hours from home.


A happy member of Friends of Organ Pipes