Two years on: Greening Kowanyama
Thursday 11th of June 2020
Teaser image
People and children planting a native seedling
Section

Kowanyama Shire is a remote community located on the Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland. Meaning “place of many waters” in the Yir Yoront language, Kowanyama is also a special place for Greenfleet.

On World Environment Day in 2018, Greenfleet partnered with Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council and Telstra to plant more than 1,000 native and fruit trees.

The planting was undertaken by Greenfleet staff, Kowanyama State School students, members of the RISE Ventures’ Youth Program, council members and Telstra employees. Once planted, the trees spanned over more than 2.5 kilometres long. As the community has limited access to fresh-food deliveries, the trees will become a source of bush lemons, mulberries and mangoes.

As of June 2020, the trees are growing well, and the Market Garden has been transformed. Still in their infancy, we hope to see the trees fruiting in the next 12 months.

Image

The first photo, taken in 2018, shows the native and fruit-bearing trees just after planting. The second photo was taken in May 2020 and shows how much they have grown in just two years. The trees should be fruiting in the next 12 months.

This year has not been without its challenges for the community. The onset of COVID-19 has meant that businesses have been restricted from operating and families across the Cape York region have been limited in being able to see each other. 

More than 1,000 people call Kowanyama home and as Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people are more vulnerable there is additional pressure to protect the health of the communities in the region. The council and community hope that restrictions can ease in the coming days and months.