Volunteers travel from Melbourne to East Gippsland for massive tree planting for koalas

A team of 20 volunteers from Melbourne and South Australia, organised by Koala Clancy Foundation, stayed on Raymond Island for 4 days to plant 2800 koala and wildlife trees and shrubs over the weekend of 14 to 17 May.

Koala Clancy Foundation President Janine Duffy guided the group through tree planting, koala walks, and an educational Koala Workshop for the whole community.

“2800 native trees were planted, including Coastal Manna Gum, banksias, wattles, bush-peas, shrubs and grasses, sourced from local nurseries and organised by Raymond Island Landcare,” said Duffy.

“The planting will benefit all native wildlife, including the koalas,” she said.

“Enthusiastic Koala Clancy Foundation volunteers joined locals from Raymond Island Landcare, and the Gunai-Kurnai Rangers, to plant the trees over the extended weekend.”

“On Saturday we planted through rain, hail and even some lightning, but the volunteers were undaunted and reluctant to stop.”

“On Sunday, with sunny conditions and supplemented by 20 locals, we planted so fast that we finished planting our quota of trees by mid-morning.”

For many of the visiting volunteers, it was their first visit to Raymond Island and the Gippsland Lakes.  The Abbey at Raymond Island accommodated the group and provided the main venue, and local caterers provided magnificent meals from Friday to Monday.

Koala Island Foundation President Robyn Peile said:
“I was so impressed by the high energy of the volunteers – they were very keen, even in adverse weather conditions!”

“The volunteers were awed by Raymond Island’s beauty and abundant wildlife, and vowed to come back again and bring their families,” she said.

Raymond Island Landcare Group President Pam Williams-Wright said:
“Having the inspirational Koala Clancy volunteers here was great for our team.”

The planting is the first of several tree planting weekends by Koala Clancy Foundation in a joint effort with East Gippsland Landcare groups to plant 23,000 trees across East Gippsland in the next 12 months. 

This planting is supported by and is being undertaken in partnership with global animal welfare and conservation charity the International Fund for Animal Welfare. IFAW is committed to working with local groups on the ground such as Koala Clancy Foundation to help restore vital koala and wildlife corridors across Australia.

IFAW Oceania Landscape Conservation Officer Wendy Simpson said:
“Across Australia trees are being cleared faster than we can plant them, so every single tree we can plant is crucial for koalas and other wildlife.”
“We are at a tipping point with our wildlife and environment and we all need to work together to turn it around. Tree planting is such a tangible and simple thing we can all do in our communities to make a difference.”

Another planting will be held in September on Raymond Island. More information:
https://www.koalaclancyfoundation.org.au/event/raymond-island-koala-tree-planting-trip-2/

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