A trail travels through the Arboretum where you may see resting kangaroos and wallabies, crosses a creek that holds a vulnerable colony of frogs commonly known as Victorian Smooth Froglet (Geocrinia victoriana), and admire the grass trees (Xanthorrhea australis) that grow on the campus behind accommodation.
In 2018 2000 native trees planted by State Library Victoria and Federation University in the Arboretum .Planted with the help of locals, students, and kindergarten children as part of the joint project the plantings included indigenous trees, shrubs and grasses native to Ballarat. Federation University student Clancy Meaney is managing the tree planting project as part of her studies. “The arboretum is a fantastic resource that is used extensively by Federation University students as an outdoor classroom,” Ms Meaney said. “Being situated in between two main forests, our campus is also an important connection for native animals. These new trees will help migrating wildlife to move from one forest to the other.”
State Library Victoria Project Management Office Director, Sarah Slade said the project was a wonderful opportunity to work with Mount Helen residents and the University to help protect the native landscape. “We’re thrilled to be able to give back to students, local residents and native flora and fauna through this valuable environmental initiative,” Ms Slade said.
The tree planting project is a result of State Library Victoria’s ongoing partnership with Federation University. Construction of the Library’s second state-of-the-art storage facility, BOSS2 (Ballarat off-site store 2), is currently underway on the Federation University site. The existing storage facility at the Mount Helen Campus already holds more than half of the State Library’s collection, including newspapers, books, journals, textiles, paintings, architectural drawings, furniture and photographic glass plate negatives. In addition to State Library collection, BOSS2 will also provide two dedicated storage areas for the University’s collection. When completed, BOSS2 will provide additional storage of 25-30 linear kilometres, the equivalent of driving from Ballarat to Clunes or running 175 lengths of the MCG.
The Mount Helen Campus Arboretum was established c1992.