We have talked a lot about deforestation and urban sprawl lately, so it’s great to see a huge community turnout for a tree planting!
Image: Local volunters turned out in huge numbers to help with the City of Casey’s ‘Plant Your Roots’ revegetation event. Photos: author.
The Plant Your Roots event, held on former farmland in Harkaway, set out to increase native vegetation and “build social cohesion.” Given the enormous number of people who turned out and the number of trees put in the ground, it was a success on both counts.
“It has been absolutely brilliant, we’ve had an amazing turnout by so many different members of our community,” event organiser Mandy Munro told the Casey & Cardinia Free Press after the event.
Image: Volunteers Ray and Jack. This year’s event was Ray’s 12th National Tree Day, while it was Jack’s first time taking part.
“We have planted 12,000 indigenous plants into the ground today, it’s just an amazing outcome. The residents who were here participating have managed to get them in the ground in under two hours.
“They should be so proud of themselves; this is their legacy that they’re creating.”
Around 250 community members got involved in the planting.
The land chosen for planting is council-owned and was most recently used for keeping horses. Another community planting site is nearby, on an old tip site.
“Eventually this site will be part of a bigger picture,” Ms Munro said.
“Next year we’ll come back and I’m thinking we’ll probably do another 10,000 – 15,000 plants again. So all up, in this planting today we got 12,000 in, on Environment Day we did a corporate planting and had 3,000 plants put in, so all up 15,000 plants have gone in on this site so far and we hope to double that again next year.”
The importance of planting on the site is made clearer when viewed from the top of its driveway. On your right are 12,000 new native plants, while on your left you can see urban sprawl.
Image: Four hungry young volunteers after the event: Hannah, Serena, Dushenka, and Hayden.
Casey city planning manager Nicola Ward said in a written statement the site would be an asset for the community into the future.
“Our community planting days not only achieve improved environmental outcomes, but also foster community spirit and pride and help educate the community about the importance of native vegetation within Casey,” Ms Ward said.
“The participants were such a diverse mix of ages, faiths and backgrounds, coming together to create an asset for the future Casey community to enjoy.
“My hope is that the young people of Casey who were there can bring their own children and grandchildren to the park in the future and share the story about how they planted the trees.
“It is wonderful that the community of today can come together to create a legacy for the community of the future.
“The City of Casey thanks all the individuals, families and community groups who volunteered their time on the day to help Council achieve a significant environmental goal and create Casey’s next bushland forest.”
For more news like this, subscribe to our email updates: bbcit.co/ccfpe.
This story also appeared in yesterday’s Casey & Cardinia News In 90 Seconds video. Watch the full bulletin below:
This story was first published in the 4 August 2017 edition of the Casey & Cardinia Free Press.