In April of this year I completed 2 days of work experience with Greening Australia. Greening Australia is an organization that looks to improving, protecting and restoring biodiversity across Australian landscapes. I worked with the Greening Australia Capital Region sector out at Scottsdale Reserve, near Bredbo.
Scottsdale Reserve was originally a working farm and most of the native vegetation had been cleared. Greening Australia is working on Scottsdale Reserve with Bush Heritage and Kosciuszko2Coast to restore native woodland and grassland to the area. Their goal is to plant 300 hectares of eucalypts, acacias, shrubs, grasses and forbs within 3 years. My work experience took place at the beginning of their second year and they have already planted more than 100 hectares. But there are still 200 to go!
During the first day of my work experience I worked with Nicki doing some grass seeding. This was the first time Greening Australia had tried grass seeding on Scottsdale, so my work experience was a trial run. Unfortunately due to the wet weather the region experienced leading up to this day, the grass-seeding machine could not be used. As a result we had to resort to the old-fashioned methods and seed by hand. This meant plowing the field, throwing out the seed, rolling it in and watering it all by hand! I now have a newfound respect for the farmers of old. Fortunately this means that Greening Australia can compare patches that have been seeded by grass to patches that have been seeded by machine/tractor and see which yields the best results. Go the hand-seeded patch!
I spent the second day of my work experience working at Scottsdale with Ben and the Green Team (a weekly volunteer group) planting trees. Bright and early in the morning we headed out to Scottsdale, collected our pick, shovel, bucket and a lot of trees. The trees were a mixture of eucalypts and acacias that were seeded from local, native trees. In fact, one of the local residents provided many of the seedlings and looks after the nursery that has been established on the reserve.
That morning we planted 450 trees! We also had to build 450 guards to protect the trees and hammer them in whilst trying to avoid getting splinters. After lunch a few people, myself included, went out to water everything we had planted that day. Due to the remote location we could not use hoses to water the trees. Instead we had to use buckets filled with water from a container sitting on the back of the ute. What a workout! The work, though hard, was very satisfying and I can’t wait to go back out to Scottsdale in 10 years time to see what it looks like.
I thoroughly enjoyed my work experience with Greening Australia. It was great to get outside, get my hands dirty and help the environment. Greening Australia is reliant on volunteers and community involvement and I would encourage everyone to get involved.
By Sarah Jackson