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Before & After – bringing back the forest at Point Sturt

Before & After – bringing back the forest at Point Sturt

Each tree supports a forest. A forest makes an entire ecosystem. Without trees and biodiverse forests, the environment suffers. The loss of habitat for wildlife, the pollution of important water ways and the release of carbon emissions are just some of the consequences land clearing has on the environment. Over the last 19 years, Greenfleet has provided individuals, organisations and communities with the opportunity to do their bit for the environment. Together, we are tackling climate change and have planted and restored over 425 native forests around Australia and New Zealand.

In 2005 Greenfleet teamed up with the Goolwa to Wellington Local Action Planning Association (GWLPA) and Scouts Australia to plant 22,000 native trees on a parcel of land at Point Sturt, on the southern edge of Lake Alexandrina, in South Australia. This reforestation project was part of the Murray Darling Rescue – a program carried out with Scouts Australia to revegetate over 70 planting sites throughout the Murray Darling Basin, across South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT. This was a great opportunity for Greenfleet to work with a community to tackle the revegetation of an incredibly important water system.

Property owner Matthew Portus recalled his experience at the time saying, “In one extraordinary weekend in late May 2005, over 2,000 committed people, brimming with goodwill, descended on Point Sturt and planted over 22,000 native trees and shrubs. The exercise was well planned and the biodiversity broad.”

The trees planted at Point Sturt are now over 10 years old. This before and after case study captures perfectly the incredible progress and positive impact this forest has achieved. At the time of planting, the conditions were not ideal. There was an ongoing drought and high levels of sand, rocks and saline soil in parts. Nonetheless, this forest had an excellent success rate, with 93% of the seedlings surviving. The team planted a range of local species, all locally grown, including Eucalyptus (gumtree), Acacia (wattle) and Melaleuca (paperbark). Native birds and animals took little time in migrating back into the area they once called home.

It was wonderful to see younger generations involved in a revegetation project. The conservation and preservation of the environment will one day fall into their hands. At the time, Scouts South Australia’s Chief Commissioner Reg Williams said “It is quite powerful witnessing our youth from as young as age six, motivating their family to actively participate in a project from which all Australians will reap the benefits in adult life”. 

All around Australia and New Zealand, Greenfleet’s biodiverse forests are sequestering carbon as we speak. The offset donations and efforts from thousands of supporters have made this possible. It is great to see communities committed to tackling climate change and working hard to protect the environment.