November 24, 2022


GJG. Connecting Habitat and Increasing Biodiversity.

Anthony and Fiona Ruff from G.J. Gardner Homes Central Gippsland are generous supporters of local community groups and their tree planting projects. This year Anthony, Fiona and their team purchased 375 native plants trees for the Gippsland Rail Trail.



Anthony and Fiona Ruff from G.J. Gardner Homes Central Gippsland are generous supporters of local community groups and their tree planting projects. This year Anthony, Fiona and their team purchased 375 native plants trees for the Maffra and Districts Landcare Network (MDLN), bringing their total number of trees to 3,375. The team from Sale, have been supporters of Fifteen Trees since 2013.



Working with the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail committee of management, MDLN involved local schools and community volunteers. The plan for this site is to connect habitat and increase biodiversity along the 63km of the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail, which extends from Traralgon in the west, via the townships of Heyfield, Tinamba and Maffra, to Stratford in the east.


The Maffra Secondary School Outdoor Education Students biked from Maffra along the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail to plant a range of native shrubs, trees and grasses in conjunction with Landcare Facilitators, a teacher and local nurseryman.

The aim of the bike ride to the planting site was to:

  • encourage the use of the Rail Trail,
  • engage the students in a fun, fitness activity,
  • help involve and connect them to the natural environment,
  • whilst giving them a chance to give back to the community by improving the natural habitat of the region.


Students arrive by bike for their tree planting day.


Further collaboration with a local primary school is planned to further enhance and extend this site and increase the biodiversity, bio-corridors and native revegetation for the area. The vision is for the site to become a well-loved, sheltered site, with a native vegetation buffer zone between the agricultural land and the rail trail for locals and visitors to the region to enjoy. This should also benefit the native wildlife by creating habitat and food sources, and increasing the amount of native vegetation in the region.


One of the Maffra Secondary School Students getting a native plant ready for planting.


The native fauna of the region include threatened species such as grey headed flying foxes, and regent honeyeaters, both which are seen in the region. Other threatened species which will benefit from these plantings include the growling grass frog, southern brown bandicoot, swift parrots and spotted quolls.


Growling Grass frog, Regent honeyeater, Grey faced bat and Swift parrot.


Trees planted along the rail trail included plants from the Gippsland Red Gum Grassy Woodlands and Associated Native Grasslands Habitat List for example, Eucalyptus, Acacia, Lilies, Mat Rushes, Tea Trees and Bottlebrush species. The plants were protected with jute weed mats and guards, and watered on the day of planting.


Huge thank you to Anthony and Fiona Ruff for their continued support of our local tree planting projects in the beautiful district of Central Gippsland.


Writer: Colleen Filippa

With a background in Environmental Science, Colleen is the Founding Director of Fifteen Trees. In 2009, after 20 years in primary, secondary and tertiary education institutions, Colleen left the classroom to start the company. Fifteen Trees is a social enterprise assisting individuals and companies to reduce their carbon footprint by supporting community groups such as Landcare, schools and environmental networks.





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June 10, 2024
We have a handful of organisations who purchase trees when they can. These organisations are masters of ingenuity when it comes to incorporating tree planting into their business practices.


May 21, 2024
The Institute of Public Accounts has supported one of our revegetation projects by purchasing a tree for every attendee at their recent Victorian Conference held in Ballarat, VIC. The trees (70) were planted in the district, in the weeks following the conference.