History and Activities of the Blackburn & District Tree Preservation Society Inc.
The Blackburn and District Tree Preservation Society Inc. has been in existence for over the 55 years since its inception in 1959.
During this period far-sighted, somewhat radical local residents, initially in Blackburn, but ultimately in the City of Nunawading (latterly Whitehorse) and beyond, believed that community action, political lobbying and perseverance could, and would, preserve and enhance the local and wider environment for the benefit of all – then, now and into the future.
It all started in the mid-1950s when the relentless over-clearing of native (now called indigenous) bushland for residential development was questioned by a number of Blackburn residents. Joan Satchwell, an original member of the tree society, remembered that her first interest in the preservation of the Blackburn environment was the result of a 1956 letter to The Age stating that Furness Park (now part of Blackburn Creeklands) was ‘… out of place in a suburban area and should be tidied up and cleared …’
Several informal meetings were organised to discuss ways and means to combat this loss of natural amenity, which finally culminated in the formation of the Blackburn Tree Preservation Society in 1959 (the ‘and District’ was added later).
The tree society has been instrumental in supporting the election of ‘green’ Councillors, has actively promoted the planting of indigenous plants and published regular newsletters, plant guide booklets and an indigenous plants poster.
In the early 1980s, the Society was instrumental in the creation of the Special Residential Zone (now the Significant Landscape Overlay No. 1) in Blackburn with its tree control provisions and has been instrumental in establishing community Bushland Park Advisory Committees in Whitehorse.