Darren Le Roux calls it a "200-year gig", because the fruits of his labour for the last four years will take centuries to be seen.
Out the back of the National Arboretum, through pine forest, is Barrer Hill, with the Molonglo River at its feet.
Once a site devastated by European farming, Dr Le Roux, an ACT Parks senior project manager, has spent the last four years restoring the landscape to relatively pre-European conditions.
And on this land, dead trees mean new life. Dr Le Roux and his colleagues have replanted dead trees from across Canberra to attract native wildlife.
Not only that, but they've planted 50,000 native plants, dropped 80 tonnes of rocks and distributed 10,000 tonnes of wooden debris across the hill, which opened to the public on Wednesday.
Along with the five dead trees, rangers have transformed five old utility poles with attached hallows and "bat boxes", to help bring in native birds, bats, insects, raptors and reptiles.
"We know that isolated trees ... are really important for wildlife," Dr Le Roux said.
"Because there's nothing else here."
Is it working? Australian National University researchers have seen an eightfold increase in the number of native species visiting the dead trees and a twofold increase in the number visiting utility poles.
Researchers are seeing micro-bats, tawny frogmouths, wedge-tailed eagles and your humble magpie and crimson rosella.
Small boxes for birds and bats make sense, but wrapping the bottom of the utility poles with cellfoam might not. The foam makes up for the lack of bark, which houses insects and bats.
"It's that easy," Dr Le Roux said. "I got a real fright when I first pulled this [cellfoam] back and found a bat."
But it's a sculpture at the foot of Barrer Hill that has Dr Le Roux really excited.
"Life Support" sits at the edge of the Molonglo Peninsula, overlooking the new suburbs of Coombs and Denman Prospect.
"The most obvious interpretation is that it's supporting life. But also metaphorically, in many ways when you think about something that needs life support, it's in a pretty bad way," Dr Le Roux said.
The sculpture is made up of parts of a 400-year-old yellow box gum tree, cut up when it posed a risk to a house in Tuggeranong.
"My hope is it becomes this recognisable icon in the Canberra landscape," Dr Le Roux said.
Bird shelters and bat boxes line the sculpture, dotted with motion-triggered cameras which will be accessible online to the public.
Barrer Hill will soon be surrounded by housing on the other side of the peninsula, which Dr Le Roux said made it even more precious.
So what's next for Dr Le Roux and his team? Across the river he will be restoring old farmland and sewerage pits for a project like Barrer Hill. Another 200-year gig.