Trees given for Quaama Memorial Park: Bega Valley

Hamish and Gaby Mitchell delivering a truckload of trees to bushfire affected Cobargo Wildlife Sanctuary, April 2020.
Hamish and Gaby Mitchell delivering a truckload of trees to bushfire affected Cobargo Wildlife Sanctuary, April 2020

A generous donation of 12 established trees will revitalise the bushfire impacted Quaama Memorial Park.

Coming from the owners of a Victoria-based tree nursery, Speciality Trees with roots in the Bega Valley and the Monaro, the trees are a gift to help a childhood stomping ground recover from drought and fires.

Co-owner of Speciality Trees, Hamish Mitchell, said he has special memories traveling from the Monaro to Bermagui and Quaama during family holidays.

“I first met my wife, Gaby at Cooma primary school, and we both have fond memories of trips to the Bega Valley, especially the Bermagui area on many occasions,” Mr Mitchell said.

“So when we heard about Quaama and Cobargo being so severely impacted by last year’s bushfires, we knew we could do something to help these wonderful communities.

“Trees are our business, so we stepped up with an offer of parkland trees to Bega Valley Shire Council, and they were thrilled to accept them.”

Council’s Project Officer, Glenn Merrick said the donation will be gratefully received by the Quaama community.

“Visitors to the park will soon enjoy the addition of tree species like Japanese elm, tupelo, golden ash, liquid amber, crepe myrtle, golden elm and jacaranda. It will be a lovely sight that will only improve with time.

“This is not the only act of generosity from Hamish and Gaby, who drove from Victoria last year with a truckload of trees for the Cobargo Wildlife Sanctuary after it was impacted by the Black Summer bushfires.

“Quaama residents will notice some preparation works happening over the coming weeks, including the removal of dead and seriously damaged trees, as well as compost being added to improve the soil.

“This will give the trees a good start in their new home thanks to our very own FOGO compost, which of course is the end product from everyone’s food waste kitchen caddies and green bins across the shire.

“When we realised we needed 20 cubic metres of compost, we immediately thought of our Waste Services team who were happy to help with supplying top grade organics to help the new trees establish healthy roots.

“It’s good to know that everyone who puts their green bin out once a week has contributed in some way to this great community project.”

Existing trees at the park will also be given the best treatment with compost and mulch circles being applied.

Site preparation and tree removal will start this week, and trees will be planted in July. Only dead or severely damaged trees will be removed, with each being replaced with trees from Hamish and Gaby.

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