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Get down and dirty - go tree planting
The Regent Honeyeater Project has established itself as one of the most active volunteer conservation projects in the nation. Closer to Melbourne, project sites in Benalla offer several planting weekends to sign up to. And there's free camping and food on offer!
If you are looking for an outdoorsy family or friends event, this is exactly the kind of weekend to sign up to.
It seems that Melbournians cannot get enough of 'tree-planting' during the cold winter months. The project aims to restore remnant box-ironbark habitat for the endangered species still living in the district.
Teach them to grow!
For the past 20 years in winter, the organisers announce propagation and planting days for students and volunteers from universities, walking clubs, church groups, bird observers, scouts and environment groups. Each year sees an increase in the numbers participating, as volunteering and conservation programs become ever more popular across Australia.
If tree planting is not enough, there's also a range of other activities such as nest box placement and monitoring the crucial habitat for rare mammals. These are valuable learning and motivational experiences for visiting groups.
The massive scale of these programs has had significant benefits for landcare, as well as for wildlife. It really is a demonstration of the changes needed for ecologically sustainable development.
The next weekends to go tree planting are:
August 4th - 5th August 18th - 19th September 8th - 9th
The event starts on a Saturday morning and finishes on Sunday afternoon. Accommodation is available at the scout hall in Benalla. If you prefer a little luxury, Benalla also has a good range of commercial accommodation and not far from the project site. What to bring:
Gardening gloves and sensible clothing (hat, sunscreen, wet weather gear just in case). A change of clothes can save you driving home in muddy gear. Tools are provided but you can bring your own if you prefer.
Excellent three-course meal on Saturday night (an evening not to be missed), a barbeque lunch on Sunday, plus hot drinks for morning and afternoon teas. Bring your own picnic lunch for Saturday, and something for breakfast on Sunday.
Regent Honeyeater Project Inc.
PO Box 124,