Biodiversity and Wollongong Campus
University of Wollongong main campus is located at the base of the Illawarra escarpment and has significant biodiversity value. The University of Wollongong's main campus occupies a site of 82.4 hectares, nestled between the escarpment of Mt Keira and the nearby Pacific Ocean.
The landscaped environment is open, spacious and extensively landscaped, with native vegetation and water gardens being a feature.
Looking around campus it is quite amazing to think that the site of the campus was previously farmland. Approximately 50,000 trees and shrubs have been planted on campus since 1975. Australian native plant species have been used in the landscaping on the campus which includes Eucalyptus, Melaleuca, Casuarina, Grevilleas, Ficus and Banksias.
The campus is also home to around 80 Illawarra Flame trees, a subtropical rainforest tree native to Eastern Australia. The bright red flowers of this tree, which appear in Spring, feature on the University's Coat of Arms. There is a Campus Tree Walk that was established by the Herbarium (part of the University's School of Biological Sciences).
The campus landscape has been designed as part of the Keira Green Corridor concept in partnership with the local council, providing a sanctuary for wildlife (both permanent and in transit) from the top of the escarpment down to the shoreline of the ocean. The native plant species that have been planted provide food and shelter for a diverse range of native animals which live and utilise the campus.
Natural bushland areas
There are also several natural bushland areas on the University grounds which contain native vegetation communities including an Endangered Ecological Community (Lowland Dry-Subtropical Rainforest) and significant plant species. In particular, a State and Commonwealth listed threatened plant, Cynanchum elegans, is located within natural bushland areas on the University grounds.
The campus environment is valued by students
Planning Services and the Academic Registrar’s Division (2008) Student Experience Questionnaire indicated that 26% of students considered the physical environment of the campus as the best aspect or feature of their UOW experience.