Declan McDonald

Declan McDonald

Senior Soil and Horticultural Scientist, SESL

Declan has over 30 years experience in agricultural, horticultural, recreational and amenity soil management. He holds a B.Sc in Urban Horticulture (UTS) and a M SusAg - Soils (University of Sydney). He has held key roles managing open space with two NSW councils, and key technical roles with the Tasmanian and Victorian governments. As Senior Soil Scientist with SESL Australia he is responsible for technical management of contaminated land, major redevelopments re-using site soils, and urban renewal projects including green walls and rooftop gardens, all while continuing to follow his passion for sustainable management of our soil resources.


Establishing Treescapes in Challenging Urban In-fill Developments

The concept design for the redevelopment of a former paper mill in Alphington, Melbourne featured medium density housing with generous streetscapes in an exclusive inner-city environment. Construction commenced with stripping of topsoil and removal off-site leaving the remnant tertiary basalt clay subsoil as the palette on which the green infrastructure would be developed. Spatial constraints and location of services across the site impacted on tree root volumes and tree pit widths. These challenges involved extensive research into tree species selection, appropriate soil volumes, suitable soil specifications, and assessment of longevity and stability of trees. It highlighted the importance of positive collaboration with Council, developers and technical experts to agree solutions, and underlined yet again, the importance of early professional assessment of soil conditions to ensure compatibility of design intent with achievable outcomes.

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What our Delegates are Saying

"I'm going to seek new ideas and learn from experience of other projects to constantly improve the way we manage our parks and open space . I'm looking forward to learning more around Parks & Open Space, Healthy Active Play and Trees and Gardens"

Jacqui, Manager City Reserves, City of Albany (WA)

"I love to listen, learn, share and spend time with likeminded and inspirational colleagues who are transforming the world park by park, facility by facility, program by program. I am looking forward to seeing Kia Dowell and Katie Sarah. I love being inspired and challenged to make a difference and grow as a leader and contributor to our industry".

Carly, Team Leader Recreation Planning, City of Casey (VIC)

"It is important to keep abreast of latest industry trends, best practice case studies and the valuable networking opportunities. I am looking forward to hearing from Jack Kardys regarding the evolving role of parks - driving health, happiness and economic prosperity".

Matt, Manager Active Communities, City of Holdfast Bay

"I can't wait to meet new people and catch up with old friends at PLA2019. I haven't been to Perth for many years and I'm looking forward to seeing the beautiful parks"

Neil, Parks Planner, Parks Victoria

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