Conservationists understand that rehabilitating environment takes cooperation between public and private landholders. Since European settlement, vast tracts of Australian land have come into private ownership. We simply cannot rely on isolated islands of government (or Crown) bushland to preserve our natural heritage and wildlife corridors. This is why Landcare, and other environment groups all over the country, collaborate with private landholders as well as different levels of government to plan strategic plantings.
The Campaspe Valley Landcare Group is one such committed group. Covering an area primarily used for agricultural purposes, the group does a significant amount of work on roadsides and private land, as well as in the small bush reserves scattered throughout. Recent planting days included a productive several hours on School Road. Like most of the territory, the School Road site is fortunate in enjoying quite rich volcanic soil, but much degraded by years of overgrazing. On 21 July, 200 shrubs and trees were planted with the aim of increasing low level groundcover. This will improve soil health, prevent erosion, and provide habitat and safe places for local fauna.
The School Road planting was sponsored by Thompson Funerals, based in Castlemaine. This family business, several generations strong, has been a long-time supporter of Fifteen Trees. With such an integrated and sensitive community role, it is not surprising that Peter and Robert Thompson (Funeral Director and Office Manager, both CFA volunteers), along with Shanae Finning (Funeral Director), are also committed to doing their bit to improve their environment. With every service conducted, the cost of a tree is donated, a local seedling is sourced, and a community group places it in the ground. This practical gesture becomes part of a celebration of life, of hope and of community.
Article by Sarah Hart.
Sarah is an emerging self-taught artist whose passions include the stories and experiences of women and narrative driven creative work. Her aim is to delight, to reveal glimpses of everyday beauty, and to celebrate flights of the ordinary. Sarah works across a range of media, with an abiding interest in pen and ink, mixed media and the human form.