Our Projects

Gresswell Forest Nature Play Area
Chemical-free weed treatment at Gresswell Forest Nature Play Area
Services Provided
+ Hot Water Weed Control+ Heatweed™ 4wd Ute Mounted

Acacia Environmental Management deliver strategic planning and service delivery in partnership with primary land managers. Acacia can assist agencies tasked with land management understand their regulatory requirements, site values and threatening processes impacting their site/s. A tailored plan can be developed to suit the specific needs of your organisation – we can even deliver the on-ground works.

"The public reaction to the use of Heatweed in the field has been overwhelming. Parents of young children have been particularly supportive and grateful for the move away from herbicide".

Matt Hall, Senior Ecological Consultant & Project Manager, Acacia


Gresswell Forest Nature Play Area is located in the suburb of Watsonia, in Melbourne’s north-east. It is a remnant patch of bushland, with a series of nature play experiences amongst a lush bush setting, where children can hunt for wildflowers, collect feathers, climb trees and discover local wildlife.

Due to its popularity and close proximity to surrounding homes, the habitat hosts many children throughout the year.

Unfortunately, Stinging Nettles (Urtica urens) covered the bottom third of the adventure play area. Children whose skin comes into contact with the stems and leaves of the nettles can experience a rash and stinging sensation. In rare cases, some may have an allergic reaction.

While the removal of Stinging Nettle is the best response, many parents don’t want natural play areas contaminated by herbicide. Furthermore, the closure of traditional playgrounds during COVID-19 Lockdown is making it very difficult for children and parents to find play alternative activities within their neighbourhood.


 Parks Victoria approached Acacia to safely remove the Stinging Nettles quickly and effectively, without shutting down the area for a long period of time, and by only using a non-chemical approach. 


Acacia responded within 2 business days to provide Heatweed application (6 hrs – 1 operator – cost approx. $800) of 98-99-degree hot water from 4wd ute mounted unit with 45m hose length to knock down immediately and kill the nettles. Children were able to return to the area immediately post treatment and although it is important for children to remain supervised and at a distance to the lance the use of hot water eliminates the risk of spray drift or chemical contamination within the area.


Dead Nettles, immediate safety from stinging, happy children and relieved parents during lockdown. More importantly, an improved natural environment for children to explore safely.