Meet the people who have transformed communities by planting trees

Meet the people who have transformed communities by planting trees

    By Jennifer McMillan  May 16th, 2022

    For National Volunteer Week, Planet Ark is celebrating over 5 million volunteers who have planted over 26 million trees since 1996. Meet some of the volunteers from the Tree Day community.

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    The Friends of Lower Kororoit Creek celebrate 21 years of National Tree Day  

    Geoff Mitchelmore founded the Friends of Lower Kororoit Creek (FOLKC) in 2001. When Geoff first discovered Kororoit Creek it was surrounded by weeds, debris and rubbish and his dream was to turn it into a corridor of green for future generations to enjoy. The FOLKC have worked hard to transform the area from a weed infested hill to a thriving nature reserve. Bird populations have increased from 35 species in 2004, to over 136 in 2017. Kororoit Creek is an important waterway and environmental corridor for migratory birds. The site has supported the recovery of the endangered swift parrot and other woodland birds.  

    Brettacorp builds habitat with over 70 National Tree Day community events since 2015 

    Brettacorp is a not-for-profit located on the Cassowary Coast region in northern Queensland. Founder Brett Krause is passionate about building habitat for endangered and threatened species such as the Southern Cassowary and Mahogany Glider using the Miyawaki Technique to create dense tropical rainforest.  

    Mathew Townsend is creating inclusion by connecting people with nature  

    Mathew Townsend lost hearing in both ears when he was 18 months old and found himself isolated from the social world around him. His love of nature and the outdoors led him to start Nature Freedom, a social enterprise with the goal of inspiring, connecting and empowering young people living with disabilities. Nature Freedom activities include bushwalking, kayaking, nature workshops, canoeing, environmental craft and tree planting. The Nature Freedom team organised a National Tree Day planting event in Brisbane and planted over 500 seedlings. Since its inception Nature Freedom has had over 200 participants, “With more people of a range of abilities attending these social events, they will hopefully feel more included within and connected to their community,” Mathew says. 

    These are just a few of the stories from the people who have connected with nature to nourish relationships with each other, the land and wildlife.  

    Host a planting for National Tree Day or find a site near you to volunteer.  

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    Jennifer McMillan

    Jen worked as a vet nurse while studying environmental science and completing her master's degree in Journalism. She loves bushwalking, storytelling, caring for baby animals, Australian birds and river red gums. Jen works on the National Tree Day and National Recycling Week campaigns.

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