Offenders under the supervision of Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) have helped plant the seeds for success in Far North Queensland as part of a community effort to rehabilitate local rain forest habitat.
A number of offenders have been working with the Cairns Regional Council, local schools and Terrain Natural Resource Management to rejuvenate a number of areas around Thomatis Creek.
The area was cleared for sugar cane crops over 50 years ago, but since 2017 around 11,000 mangrove seedlings and 3,500 rainforest trees have been planted in a 250 metre stretch of the creek bank by the community collective.
Re-introducing the natural flora restores and reconnects the mangroves and forest habitat that runs along Thomatis Creek which will reduce bank erosion and improve water runoff to the reef.
District Manager, Allan van Eyssen said that the project assists the offenders reconnect and give back to their community by providing the opportunity to help the local ecosystems along the creek.
“In particular, offenders under our supervision have been able to support the success of this project and develop a work ethic and life skills by digging holes for seedlings, planting trees, fertilizing, weeding and spreading mulch to help the plants establish.” Mr van Eyssen said.
“We strive to provide offenders under our supervision with practical and meaningful activities, and this project means that they are involved in the ongoing care that is needed while the plants grow.”
“It gives them a unique opportunity to help their local community while recreating the mangrove and riparian vegetation corridor along the creek.”