Every August for 25 years, Australians young, old and in-between have taken to the outdoors to help restore nature in their neighbourhoods for National Tree Day.

This celebration of hope in action is now recognised as Australia’s largest community tree planting event.

Dozens of people from Queanbeyan and a few folks from Canberra turned out on Sunday, 1 August to plant at the rural residential area of Fernleigh Park in what was probably the largest volunteer effort for Queanbeyan Landcare that anyone involved could recall.

In cold and windy conditions with heavy rain clouds hugging the hills, we planted a mix of yellow box, scribbly gum, snow gum and silver and red-stem wattles on two private properties.

This planting event is part of a project that stretches more than a decade. Involving community groups, private land holders, using people power and funds from various grant programs, the landscape of this former agricultural district is being transformed to restore the connections for wildlife, in particular small birds.

Woodland birds are disappearing across the country so building these ‘stepping stones’ for them to move across open land will give them more protection from larger birds and provide more food sources. These small birds eat the insects that infest eucalypts so restoring habitat for the birds will also help the gums stay healthy.

The wildlife corridor now stretching across Fernleigh Park is part of a regionally significant corridor stretching from the Murrumbidgee River to the Queanbeyan Eastern Escarpment.

More tree cover is also improving the water quality of Jerrabomberra Creek, a waterway that rises in the hills around Royalla and travels through Queanbeyan-Palerang and on to flow into the Molonglo River and Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra.

Katrina has attended the tree planting effort at Fernleigh Park for most years since 2008 when she joined Queanbeyan Landcare.

Greens on QPRC will work to support the kind of work underway in Fernleigh Park,  protecting and restoring wildlife corridors that bring benefits for our landscapes and wildlife as well as for people.

Authorised by Sylvia Hale for The Greens NSW, Suite D, 263-279 Broadway, GLEBE NSW 2037