“Come & help plant 1500 gum trees” the invitation came from a friend at a Trust for Nature Property. That’s going to need a lot of people I thought. I advertised the event on our environment & Landcare groups’ facebook, page knowing that more hands make light work. The opportunity to help do something good for the environment and visit a cattle farm which had become a sustainable farming model, seemed a good idea. The farm had views of the Liverpool Range, which we could climb providing we weren’t too tired. My husband, daughter and two other landcare members offered to attend. On a cool April morning, we jumped in the 4WD and headed off on the one hour journey. We were welcomed by Trust for Nature’s representatives ,who explained that the farm had been donated to the trust. Farm managers told how they cleared weeds, rejuvenated pastures and their recent success at the Ekka for their cattle. They partnered with an Agricultural College and the property was a venue for students to learn. They showed us a section of trees planted 6 months earlier and now wanted to continue the tree-line, all the way down to the creek which had experienced some erosion. The aim was to provide habitat for rock wallabies and koalas which had been recorded and monitored a by a team of scientists. Wow this is serious stuff, I thought.
A quick planting demonstration for the 30 volunteers including children and then it was down to work. Augers pre-drilled the holes and the planters planted native eucalyptus. My daughter became a real life Dirt Girl as she carried her bucket of soil around to planters who need extra dirt when rocks and grass was removed from the dry bank. The sun gradually warmed our bodies as a chorus of voices trailed up the bank along with the odd laugh or too. Strangers had come from all over our district to help restore this small section of creek now worked side by side like long lost friends. I was happy as I tenderly placed my tree into the earth and prayed that these trees would survive long enough to provide food and habitat for our native animals. The cool breeze swept through the existing shady trees and I thought this is what it should be like, nature cohabiting and thriving together. After we watered the plants, we sat on the dry grass enjoying delicious home cooked food for morning tea. The managers invited us to come back and water the plants and if was anyone interested he’d guide us up the steep but manageable track as the view from Mt Bobrummel was spectacular? We politely declined claiming our backs and legs needed a rest and instead opted for a souvenir photo. My faith in mankind was rejuvenated. People cared enough to help the environment by rescuing a creek and restoring habitat for our wildlife.
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