Platy­pus planters primed

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Land­care lead­ers and vol­un­teers are busy plan­ning for fu­ture reveg­e­ta­tion projects after a ma­jor plantout at Elmhurst cel­e­brated Na­tional Tree Day.

Project Platy­pus Up­per Wim­mera Land­care Net­work led the plantout with 60 vol­un­teers help­ing plant 2400 seedlings on Carolyn Mcdon­ald’s prop­erty.

The Project Platy­pus net­work con­cen­trates its ef­forts on reveg­e­tat­ing and overcoming degra­da­tion in the re­gion’s crit­i­cal up­per catch­ment where creeks and trib­u­taries feed di­rectly into the Wim­mera River sys­tem at the south­ern end of the Murray Dar­ling Basin.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion’s Land­care fa­cil­i­ta­tor An­drea Mitchell said the suc­cess

of com­mu­nity plantout events was mea­sured by more than the num­ber of trees peo­ple planted.

“It’s as much about mud pies made, trees climbed, creeks ex­plored and the feel­ing of the odd soggy sock as a gum­boot is left stuck in the mud,” she said.

“You can’t help but be en­thused when chil­dren and adults alike are out­side en­joy­ing them­selves and help­ing care for the en­vi­ron­ment by plant­ing a tree.

“Plantouts are also about the friend­ships made, the shar­ing of food, a warm bon­fire, the ca­ma­raderie of work­ing to­gether and of course the knowl­edge that one day there will be mag­nif­i­cent trees where there are now seedlings in the ground.”

Ms Mitchell said this sea­son Project Platy­pus had four com­mu­nity-plant­ing Sun­days, spread across the up­per Wim­mera catch­ment.

She said the reveg­e­ta­tion projects in­cluded plant­ing indige­nous plant species to en­cour­age plant and an­i­mal bio­di­ver­sity.

“For ex­am­ple, plant­ing droop­ing sheoaks – Al­lo­ca­sua­r­ina ver­ti­cil­late – will not only pro­vide shade and shel­ter. It will also sta­bilise and fer­tilise the soil with its fi­brous roots, pro­vide a fu­ture seed and food source for the black cock­a­too and cre­ate habi­tat for other birds and in­sects,” she said.

The lat­est plantout fea­tured vol­un­teers from across Vic­to­ria.

Gor­don Flynn, who trav­elled from Fitzroy, de­scribed the event as ‘an ex­cel­lent day’.

“There was ter­rific or­gan­i­sa­tion and a re­ally nice com­mu­nity spirit. Grow lit­tle plants, grow,” he said.

Project Platy­pus man­ager Alis­tair Stephens was also glow­ing in his praise.

“Thanks to all of the vol­un­teers, Elmhurst Land­care Group for catering, and staff who have made the last plantout for 2019 a great one,” he said.

The name Project Platy­pus for a Land­care net­work has his­tor­i­cally been the sub­ject of some con­fu­sion, but Ms Mitchell put it into con­text.

“If we care and look after this end of the catch­ment, we might one day see the re­turn of the platy­pus, which is in our hopes and plans,” she said.

Peo­ple keen to find out more about fu­ture Project Platy­pus events can call Mr Stephens on 5358 4410.

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