It was so great to be involved with this project. Hopefully there will more to follow!
Just over a week ago Landcare Illawarra launched the start of our new Environmental Trust project! Over 70 people turned up, a diversity of Kiama Council representatives, Office of Environment and Heritage Staff, staff from our partner nurseries who grow our plants, Landcarers from across the region, local farmers and Indigenous people, young families and the next generation. We shared story, food and culture, and got our hands dirty. Everyone coming together around a common purpose, to heal Country. Aunty Joyce Donovan gave a beautiful Welcome to Country and hosted a cleansing smoking ceremony. It was a significant and special event. The featured Moreton Bay Fig (an iconic species in our region) was blown down in June 2016. It is still alive, just. On the 26th of April, the community got together and planted 503 trees, shrubs and mat rush in 4 hours. A new rainforest will eventually emerge around the Fig so that it has some protection during the recovery period. The Fig is about 300 years old or more, so it is of great importance to the heritage of this country and that we look after it. It lives in Rose Valley, just west of Gerringong. Through funding from the NSW Environmental Trust, Landcare Illawarra is continuing to work with rural Landholders to re-establish woodland and rainforest vegetation on farms through new plantings of trees, and sharing of skills and knowledge. In the last 10 years Landcare Illawarra has supported around 110 planting projects. The new series of plantings is just beginning this year after waiting for rain. Some projects are associated with bush regeneration works on properties, but others are dual purpose plantings in paddocks to create windbreaks and shelterbelts for livestock, as well as habitat and food resources for wildlife. We would like to thank the Badens for hosting the day on their property, for sharing the vision and action in recovering local rainforest species, and everyone who came out on the day and participated in this incredible event.