Greening Australia is an independent not-for-profit organization that started in 1982 to conserve and restore Australia’s landscape for people and for nature. I am part of the green team, one of the teams spread in 30 locations all over the country. There are also community plantings, when the whole community join the Greening Australia volunteers and staff to plant native species and restore a site. The teams do science-based work not only for the landscape, but also for the people and wildlife that live in them.
Habitat restoration, wildlife conservation and return paddocks to productivity are some of the organization objectives. The actions include from planting native species to weeding and watering with the community involvement to create new homes for Australia’s wild life.
The ACT’s Green Team goes every Thursday to different location across the region to deal with practical conservation jobs like tree and shrub planting, seed cleaning and site maintenance. Volunteers work alongside staff from Greening Australia. Furthermore, the most interesting thing is that the majority of the group is formed by retired people who want to help to conserve Australia’s landscape instead of staying home. They are not afraid of the hard work, as they grab the heavy hoe and pruning shears and start work.
In the minibus, before we arrive to the working sites a staff member of greening Australia always provide all the training needed, as explaining how and what the team need to do and the reasons of doing that.
The green team went to the Kowen Forest, which is a native woodland surrounded by pine plantations. The activities there were part of a wider program to locate and remove exotic weeds from the site. The weed in this site was Pinus radiata , which is invasive and was spread by wind from nearby plantations. Pinus radiata is native from California and is considered a weed in this location due to its fast growing and competition with native species.
At the second day of my volunteer, the Green Team cleared thick weeds, planted and put mulch along the storm water drain at the back of the Greening Australia office in ACT that is located in Kubura Place, Aranda. At the beginning we were clearing all the wild grass to make space to plant Casuarina, but when a staff member noticed that there was a native grass there, we started to take care and pull out only the weeds. I noticed that the greening Australia try to restore the sites as naturally as possible, let the existing native plants and plantings new native specimens.
At my third day of activity we went to McLeods Creek Nature Reserve at Gundaroo, which is an area largely cleared for agriculture and sheep grazing. The reserve was established in 2010 to protect a rare remnant of box-gum woodland, of which only 5% remains. Furthermore, to increase the conservation values of this reserve they developed a plan with the Greening Australia and members of the community assistance to restating the woodland components and protect and recover this endangered community. In 2014, were planted over 2,000 plants in a community event for the national tree day and this year they expect to plant more 850 plants. The Green Team planted over 50 native trees in pre augured holes.
Greening Australia. Available at: http://www.greeningaustralia.org.au
[Accessed May 2015].
Molonglo Catchment Group. Weed Fact Sheets.
Available at: http://www.molonglocatchment.com.au/Weeds/weed_fact_sheets.htm
[Accessed May 2015].