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Skillful landscapers transform Bronx area
Amy Williams Skillful landscapers transform Bronx area

A project to beautify verges in front of Old Broome’s “Bronx” houses has been completed, with champions hoping it will help curb anti-social behaviour in the area.

Patches of bare red dirt and tatty long grass once hid rubbish and weapons, and attract haphazard parking of cars on the verges.

Now, the public space has been transformed into areas of native garden and rockery.

The Anne Street Renewal project was jointly funded by the Federal Government, Shire of Broome, Water Corporation and Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Corporation and was carried out over eight months by 12 young men under supervision of Kimberley Environmental Horticulture’s Tom Harley.

Surveys across 23 streets in the Anne Street and Frewer Avenue precincts found 89 residents wanted verges landscaped.

Mr Harley said 18 species of native trees were used in the landscaped areas, and a total of 75 tonnes of ornate limestone rock laid, with garden mulch provided by Broome Shire.

Residents were also given information about the trees in a booklet compiled by Mr Harley and Elizabeth Lovegrove, called Indigenous Kimberley Trees In Broome which was distributed by Water Corporation.

Mamabulanjin chief executive Neil Gower said an aim of the development was a reduction in anti-social behaviour.

He said when long grass was slashed and rubbish removed, the team found weapons, believed to have been used in street fights.

The revamped verges were well received, he said, with no vandalism or removal of plants.

Project co-ordinators hope to source more funding, to continue the project through more Old Broome streets.

Mr Gower said the project had meant the young men gained employment and valuable horticulture-and-landscaping training and experience.

Two participants are completing horticulture certificates and three are employed full time with Mamabulanjin.

Participants Aaron Ozies and Johno Pearson said they were pleased to have made a positive different to the streets of town.