Community NRM Grant Extends Treeforce Plantings
December 15, 2015
Cairns environmental group Treeforce have been continuing to revegetate creek bank corridors thanks to a Community NRM Grant provided by Terrain NRM and funded by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.
The group has been busy planting trees in the Barron Catchment since 1991 and during that time they have worked closely with the Cairns Regional Council (CRC) on Barron River projects, especially at Freshwater Creek.
Treeforce hosts activities every second weekend engaging the community in revegetation and maintenance of large sites. The funding received from the Community NRM Grant is enabling them to extend their existing project through to May 2018.
The group is experiencing a major upswing in volunteer interest and involvement that they have never seen before and their activities are attracting from 30 to 60 volunteers every fortnight,
The funded project will involve planting over 2400 trees during the wet seasons of 2016- 2018 and intensive maintenance during the dry seasons. This will include a program initiated by the Cairns Regional Council of encouraging and nurturing the natural regeneration of seedlings in the project areas as well as engaging with local schools.
“Natural regeneration practices will introduce and train our volunteers in an educational cost-efficient method of revegetation,” said Lisa O’Mara the Coordinator of Treeforce.
In one recent event over 800 trees were planted in combination with the Japanese Tour Agency. Lisa commented that “One member of Treeforce speaks Japanese fluently, which really helped with coordination on the day and a Cairns High Student Ciara who is studying Japanese language at school also helped.”
Improving the environmental values of Freshwater Creek has been identified as a priority since the area is classified as ‘Riverine Wetland’ and runs between two World Heritage areas.
Lisa said Treeforce were really happy that Terrain listened to what was needed to deliver the project effectively.
“We really needed money to pay wages for the ongoing coordination of the group not just to deliver a set number of trees in the ground so we are really grateful for this assistance.”
‘We are indeed grateful for this assistance to the Treeforce Group’ said Lisa ‘and invite the public/families to come along and help out with plantings”.
Treeforce has committed in-kind value of $128,300 towards the project with the Terrain grant making up the balance of the $158,121 budget. All members of the public are invited to participate in plantings. Contact Treeforce for more information.