Am­bi­tious tar­gets for Dain­tree’s new nurs­ery

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Scott Tib­balls

THE first of 40,000 new trees to be planted in 2017 in the Dain­tree have be­gun to be grown at the newly re­launched Dain­tree Rain­for­est Nurs­ery which sits in the shadow of Thorn­ton Peak.

The nurs­ery is part of an am­bi­tious project to grow and plant 40 mil­lion trees in Aus­tralia by 2040.

It’s man­aged by the Aus­tralian Rain­for­est Foun­da­tion which is work­ing with the USbased Rain­for­est Trust to fight back against de­for­esta­tion around the world.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of Rain­for­est Trust Aus­tralia Kelvin Davies said at the re­launch of the nurs­ery the project was vi­tal to help­ing tackle cli­mate change.

“We know we need to take im­me­di­ate ac­tion to help tackle cli­mate change,” said Mr Davies.

“We must re­duce our use of fos­sil fu­els but plant­ing trees can also be part of the re­sponse.”

The nurs­ery is also funded in part by the North Queens­land Wildlife Trust and var­i­ous zoos from around the na­tion.

Plans were un­veiled at the re-launch to sus­tain­ably de­velop the site on Cape Tribulation Rd to ex­pand ser­vices to in­clude day fa­cil­i­ties for tourists, a trop­i­cal fruit orchard, a pal­me­tum, in­ter­pre­ta­tive sig­nage and im­proved fa­cil­i­ties for vol­un­teers.

Man­ager of the nurs­ery, Golly Wat­son, told the that the land was ideal for grow­ing trees, as the soil is so fer­tile.

“The growth rate is pos­si­bly the best,” said Mr Wat­son, who added that some trees could grow any­where be­tween two to three me­tres a year. “The min­er­als in the soil are un­be­liev­able – in­cred­i­bly rich soil.”

Mr Wat­son has 11 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence as a con­ser­va­tion­ist, and says ev­ery day has been worth it.

“Ev­ery­one would love to plant trees, but the op­por­tu­nity doesn’t come up much. I’m very grate­ful for the op­por­tu­nity.”

As man­ager of the nurs­ery, Mr Wat­son will be re­spon­si­ble for main­te­nance of the prop­erty and other lo­ca­tions owned by the foun­da­tion for rain­for­est re­ju­ve­na­tion.

Be­sides that, he said the nurs­ery is in­tended to be­come a com­mu­nity hub for peo­ple to visit and en­joy.

“We need to have more com­mu­nity in­volve­ment here. There’s a lot of amaz­ing peo­ple liv­ing up this way and it would be great to have peo­ple come and stay.

“It won’t take long for all the good peo­ple to come and hang out – and that’s how peo­ple should see it, a place to en­joy.”

Pic­tures: Above - sup­plied, be­low -SCOTT TIB­BALLS

The Benella Rain­for­est Nurs­ery in the Dain­tree Low­lands

Ceo of Rain­for­est Trust Aus­tralia Kelvin Thomas with Golly Wat­son, man­ager of the re-launched Dain­tree Rain­for­est Nurs­ery

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