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Trees For Life Winter 2009 Number 111

Funding pressure eased by AMLRNRM Board TFL prepares for National Tree Day Ordering season now open Good results in River Murray project


President’s Message

General News

True Believers’ baton passed to worthy successors

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n the past six months we’ve farewelled two staff members who managed to achieve legendary status for their achievements Garry Forrest and Andrew Allanson. Each of them leaves large shoes to fill not only because of their environmental expertise but also their personal qualities as motivators and educators. Quite different personalities, both were what I like to call True-Believers; individuals whose contribution to Trees For Life somehow transcends the duties specified in a job description and become a source of inspiration to the rest of us. Fellow staff and volunteers alike will sorely miss them and we wish them both well for the future. Life goes on, however, and their shoes will be filled. Already the Bush Action Teams (BATs) are being organised and led by Garry’s successor Randall Bates; adjustments have been made and the work is continuing. As many of us who have retired know only too well, no one is indispensable. It has long been part of the Board’s strategic plan to make the organisation more robust and capable of withstanding any eventuality. In recent months those qualities have been sorely tested but all concerned have managed to stay calm and respond with customary optimism. Such confidence comes from a strong belief in what we do and how we do it. Trained and experienced volunteers under expert supervision working to restore and rehabilitate our native vegetation remain a winning formula. Andrew Allanson, in concert with our Vice President Mary-Anne Healy, effectively invented the bushcare concept which has gone on to establish a national reputation. As a leading proponent of the rehabilitation of our remnant vegetation and the part that community volunteers can play in that process, Andrew is arguably without peer. We are unlikely to see his like again but the baton has been passed to a team of worthy successors. Bush For Life remains a quality program that continues to attract not only committed volunteers but staff of a particularly high calibre. Andrew raised the bar and we have plenty of disciples wanting to accept the challenge. I think it’s what the pundits refer to as ‘generational change’. Regardless, Trees For Life continues to enjoy a healthy reputation and build wide respect in the environmental and wider communities. Finally I wish to record the thanks of all at Trees For Life for the confidence shown in us and our Bush For Life program by the Adelaide & Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board. General Manager Kym Good and his team have worked closely with Carmel Dundon, Mark Ellis and others to ensure that we have sufficient funding for the remainder of the financial year. Thanks also to the office of the Minister for Environment and Conservation, the Hon Jay Weatherill MP, for its active encouragement and support over the past several months. Times are indeed tough but Trees For Life continues to adapt to changing circumstances in pursuit of our conservation ideals.

By DAVID MITCHELL President

Cara carer Ann McCall, left, with Joanne Dinham from the Magill service, who helped grow the TFL seedlings.

Cara helps Trees For Life

Want to be on-Board?

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rees For Life’s programs appeal to a wide variety of people of all ages and backgrounds. This was highlighted recently when a group of Cara clients – Community Accommodation Respite Agency for people living with disabilities – and their carers delivered boxes of native seedlings they had grown for the Tree Scheme program. Every year thousands of people from throughout Adelaide and surrounding regions volunteer to grow an estimated one million native seedlings for landholders and environmental projects throughout the State. This year clients from three Cara centres, including one in Port Pirie, grew several boxes of native seedlings and cared for them during the summer.

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eLeaf’s format is made possible through the generous sponsorship of Fusion and Finsbury Green Printing. ReLeaf is printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper and printed with 100% vegetable-based inks, ensuring the ‘greenest’ possible publication. The sponsorship has also enabled major savings in printing costs and postage, enabling the product to be designed at no extra cost.

ReLeaf is a production of Trees For Life. Editorial/Advertising: Tania Kearney (ph: 8406 0500 or taniak@treesforlife.org.au) Production/Graphic Design: Fusion Printing: Finsbury Green

Cover photo: Banksia ornata (see Page 5) Trees For Life Winter 2009 Number 111

Green ReLeaf

Contact us

Want to advertise? Advertising space is now available in ReLeaf. Phone 8406 0500 or email taniak@treesforlife.org.au for advertising rates.

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f you’re interested in increasing your involvement in Trees For Life, you might like to consider nominating for a position on the TFL Board. You’ll find the TFL Board nomination form on Page 12 of this ReLeaf edition. Simply fill in the details and send it back to us here at TFL.

Trees For Life 5 May Tce Brooklyn Park 5032 Ph: 8406 0500 Fax: 8406 0599 info@treesforlife.org.au www.treesforlife.org.au


Good news on BFL funding By CARMEL DUNDON Chief Executive Officer

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e are thrilled to announce that full funding for the Bush For Life program has been secured for this current financial year thanks to the support of the Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges Natural Resource Management Board (AMLR NRM) and the South Australian Government. Understanding the importance of the Bush For Life program to biodiversity conservation and recognising the tremendous contribution made by the community through volunteer bush management, the AMLR NRM Board has agreed to meet the shortfall resulting from a withdrawal of support from the Commonwealth. This means that the program can continue full steam ahead with BFL site volunteers enjoying full support. It also means that training programs targeted at new volunteers can also proceed to maintain some continuity in the program. Since announcing the demise of our Commonwealth funding we have been overwhelmed by the support (both moral and practical) that we have received from TFL members and elected members representing the full range of political parties. We thank them sincerely for their support which we take to be an endorsement of the huge contribution TFL members make to the South Australian environment. In April, we submitted an application for four years’ funding under the new federal Caring For Our Country Business Plan which attracted 1300 applications applying for more than $3.4 billion. Only $450 million is available to be committed in 2009-10. While competition will be tough for this funding we have been able to demonstrate that for every government $1 received, Trees For Life

provides on ground works to the value of $12.50. Given the complexity of the assessment task we don’t expect to know whether we have been successful in this or other related applications until late 2009. Meanwhile we are reviewing our processes to reduce our dependence on such funding, ensuring the program continues to grow and thrive, and protecting and managing our besieged natural bushland for long term sustainability.

New TFL ad to screen on SBS

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rees For Life has won up to $100,000 worth of viewing time on SBS Television. TFL was the only South Australian recipient, and one of just 23 successful applicants nationally from an original pool of 500. The offer was made possible through the SBS Foundation, developed to help charitable organisations promote their aims and ambitions through television, a medium that is generally beyond the budget of most not for profit groups. As a result of the win, TFL has entered into a sponsorship arrangement with one of SA’s most highly respected animation production companies, the People’s Republic of Animation, to develop a television advertisement. See Page 15 The advertisement will screen on SBS over a 12 month period, starting this month. “This is particularly exciting as it provides Trees For Life with an opportunity to raise our profile through mainstream media,” TFL Sponsorship Manager Glenys Perri said. “In turn we hope this will increase our appeal, help to promote what we do for South Australia’s environment, and encourage others in the community to do something positive by either joining, donating or volunteering.” So stay tuned to SBS.

The results gathered from National Tree Day site coordinators in 2008 indicate that most plants are sourced from councils (council nurseries), followed by specialist native, retail and community nurseries, as outlined above.

TFL a top four Tree Day source

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tatistics from Planet Ark have shown Trees For Life to be among the top four contributors to National Tree Day 2008. In fact, Planet Ark has estimated that between 2005-2008 10-15% of plants have been sourced from TFL. Planet Ark has also investigated the breakdown of organisations supporting National Tree Day sites, with statistics showing councils are again the major contributor, followed closely by Trees For Life. Other organisations, (mainly national) supporting the event in 2008 have been broken down as follows: • Local Council 26% • TFL 14% • Toyota 13% • Landcare 3% • Green groups 6% • Lions 5% • Greening Australia 1% • AMP 2% Overall, results for 2008 showed a 33% increase in the number of native plants established compared to 2007 (1.6 million compared with 1.2 million in 2007). Support for Schools Tree Day also grew, with school students comprising 73% of all participants, the majority being of primary school age. Responding to the increasing interest from schools, Planet Ark last year developed and launched the ‘Get Growing!’

Environmental Education kit. This kit provides educational support for teachers and environmental educators and is again available this year. A greater focus is also being placed on the purchase of local provenance plants and biodiversity, encouraging sites to contain a diverse mix of local native trees, shrubs and groundcovers. National Tree Day 2008 resulted in 674,000 grasses/groundcovers, 473,000 trees and 456,000 shrubs being planted around Australia. Now in its 13th year, National Tree Day continues to encourage Australian schools, environmental groups, councils, community groups, businesses and individuals to come together and engage with their environment. This year’s National Tree Day will take place on Sunday August 2, with Schools Tree Day being held on Friday July 31. Trees For Life is planning events to mark both days – again involving Planet Ark’s NTD mascot Fifi and the Flowertots and the Port Adelaide Football Club. For more information on National Tree Day, visit http:// treeday.planetark.org or call the National Tree Day Hotline on 1300 88 5000. * The Port Adelaide Football Club is also kindly offering TFL members free tickets for the AFL’s ‘Green Round’ when the Power takes on Carlton at AAMI Stadium on Sunday, August 16. See Page 13 for more details.

Trees For Life Winter 2009 Number 111

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General News

Leaders of the pack, Mark and Ollie wind their way around the 600-kilometre Terra Australis course in Victoria.

Growing a great future is the goal of the State Government’s SA Urban Forests Million Trees Program, which is dedicated to planting three million local native trees and associated understory across metropolitan Adelaide by 2014.

An invitation to get involved

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Mark and Ollie among some spectacular scenery. Photos copyright Elle Shaw 2009.

Riders return triumphant

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any of you will remember a story in the Autumn edition of ReLeaf about two of our members who were embarking on a 600-kilometre national mountain bike event, Terra Australis, in Victoria. We are pleased to report that Mark Simpson and Oliver (Ollie) Klein came 5th in their class (open men) – a class which included two current world champions, others who were or are Australian representatives and some internationally sponsored riders. Mark and Ollie, or Team TFL as they were known in the event, came 7th overall. Two teams with Australian represented riders finished ahead of them. Mark said the race was a once in a life time experience, “until next year”, and was very memorable for several reasons: • “Forming a strong friendship with riding partner Ollie, (most mountain bike race events are at an individual level or at best a relay event);

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• “Seeing a great part of Australia with its tall trees, dense undergrowth, clear cold rivers and of course its immense vistas; • “The hills are bigger and longer than I imagined with some climbs taking 1.5 hours in the easiest gears we had; • “Also the longest downhills I have done with rests required to stretch out the back, arms, and hands; • “Mentally tough having to stay focused for 7 days of competitive riding.” Mark said overall it was an amazing opportunity to meet, ride and live with riders of world class level. And as for their personally designed TFL bike jerseys – which several of our members have since purchased – Mark said the jerseys really stood out in the crowd of riders “and started many a chat about Trees For Life and what it does. “We felt like broken records answering the question ‘So what is this Trees For Life all about?’ … all answered with very positive comments like ‘why don’t we have groups like that in our State?’.”

Trees For Life Winter 2009 Number 111

ith the arrival of some well overdue rain, the Million Trees Program is now finalising its plans for its approaching winter planting season. Work on approximately 70 project sites will start in the coming months, including weed removal, site preparation and planting approximately 250,000 seedlings. The program extends a sincere thank you to volunteer TFL growers who have raised 30,000 of these plants. Several community planting events are planned for the coming months and the program invites any willing volunteers to come and help out. The current events include: • Gully Reserve (Seacliff Park) – June 5 • Para Woodland (near Gawler) – June 20 • Gully Reserve (Seacliff Park) – June 27 • Craigburn Farm (Blackwood Park) – July 4 • Aldinga Arts Eco-village (Port Willunga) – July 12 • Gawler Buffer West (Munno Para) – July 18 • Hart Road and Wetland (Aldinga) – July 25 • National Tree Day (North Adelaide Park Lands) – August 2 • National Tree Day (Semaphore Beach) – August 2 • Edinburgh to Bolivar Biodiversity Corridor (Edinburgh) – August 9

These community planting events are a chance for anyone who would like to get involved in helping to protect, conserve and enhance Adelaide’s native vegetation. Whatever time you are able to volunteer will be appreciated, whether it is attending a few events, or an hour at one event. By planting three million local native plants across the Adelaide Metropolitan Area, the Million Trees Program aims to help improve local biodiversity, improve air and water quality, reduce water use and help create a healthier local environment to benefit residents, visitors and future generations. More information about the program and our calendar of events is available at www.milliontrees.com.au where you can sign up as a Friend of the Urban Forest if you would like to be kept informed about our activities and future events. Anyone wishing to attend one of the above events should register so that we can confirm details and advise of any last minute changes due to weather or other issues. To do so, please contact the office on 8278 0600 or via email at info@urbanforest.on.net.


Plant profile: Banksia ornata Desert Banksia Family Proteaceae Propagated from seed

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anksia ornata is one of only two banksias indigenous to South Australia, the other being Banksia marginata. This plant is a rounded shrub up to 2.5m with cylindrical flower spikes 5-14cm long x 6-12cm wide. The flowers are green-yellow to yellowbronze and attractive to honey eaters. The pollen is very high in protein, making it a good bee forage plant. B. ornata is moderately frost hardy but prefers well drained, dry soils similar to those of its native habitats of mallee and desert. The plant is also tolerant of salt and lime. It is suitable for inland and coastal areas as well as sandier parts of the Adelaide plains. The flowers of banksias are rich in nectar and the spikes can be soaked in water to produce a sweet drink. Pick the flowers early in the morning while they are sticky with nectar, but remember not to pick flowers from the bush, only your own plantings.

Curry kids use environmental know-how By DENNIS HAYLES

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grew up on Yorke Peninsula and attended Curramulka Primary School, affectionately know as Curry Primary. The Curry kids have always been an independent and motivated bunch; part of a small but proud school, with attendance numbers in the 50s over the years. In 2003 Jenny Hansen, classroom teacher of the 5, 6 and 7 mob, suggested tackling some environmental issues, and a long term course was subsequently plotted. The first step was learning about some local plant species and using them to help revegetate parklands adjacent to the school. Little did Jenny know then just how one spontaneous idea could grow into something much larger. Now six years down the track, with the help of local businesses and other community members, the Curry kids have planted over 3000 local provenance seedlings, many grown by Trees For Life through the Tree Scheme program. They have incorporated walking trails and developed information notice boards, highlighting issues such as weeds and pests in our bush, the importance of grasslands, bush tucker food and plant storeys. Many environmental groups have been invited to talk to the students, among them National Parks and Wildlife, Yorke Peninsula Council, Threatened Plant Action Group, Northern and Yorke NRM and the Department of Environment & Heritage. The school has also become an active participant in ASISTM (Australian Schools Innovation in Science, Technology and Mathematics project), the focus being kids sharing experiences of their environmental projects with other schools in their district.

TFL’s Dennis Hayles out in the field with Curramulka students.

Some of the students learn about different species in their area.

Also during this time, Curry Primary has actively competed in the KESAB small schools competition, twice winning “Best Environmental School”. Perhaps one of the really important achievements has been adopting and actively managing a KESAB Roadwatch site 10km east of the school. This site contains the nationally endangered Acacia enterpcarpa (jumping jack wattle) – which is only found in three tiny locations in Australia - and the nationally vulnerable Olearia pannosa (silver daisy).

Environment conference This year I have encouraged Jenny to enter the school into the 2009 SA Youth Environment Conference, being held at the Adelaide Convention Centre on June 24-25. The conference is an opportunity for students to present to other students after working with a mentor on an environmental concept. In keeping my end of the bargain, I agreed to help the

kids prepare for the conference. So on March 26-27, I went back to my roots for the daunting task of working with 20 very enthusiastic students to put something in place. Firstly we visited the KESAB Roadwatch area, and collected plant examples from their site, after which the cuttings were identified and pressed to form a herbarium. We then discussed the stratas or storeys that make up the bush, how the plants interact to form a community and where animals, birds and reptiles fit into the picture. We looked at weeds and pests that affect the health of our bushland and how management strategies can be put in place. The kids made new signs for their information walk in the parklands based upon what we had discovered. The Curry kids will be taking a bus to the big smoke for the June 24 conference, and based upon my observations, will do themselves and their little community very proud. Well done and good luck kids.

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Landholders get Nursery grown to work plant orders ith the volunteer growers now available

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Ordering season now open

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he Trees For Life ordering season is now open, so landholders wanting seedlings to plant in 2010 should place an order with Trees For Life before July 31. TFL’s local native seedlings are provided at well below cost thanks to our sponsor SA Water and our members. You can choose to grow your own seedlings or request that they be grown to order by a volunteer grower.

Ordering Trees For Life seedlings is as simple as 1, 2, 3 1. Ensure your financial membership is current to April 30, 2010 2. Fill in the zone order form and pay a $45 materials and supplies fee 3. Receive your materials in November 2009 if you are growing your own or your seedlings in Autumn 2010 if you request the assistance of a volunteer grower.

Planning ahead in times of drought We understand that it’s difficult enough under normal conditions to think about ordering seedlings 12 months in advance and the past years of drought in most areas can add to that uncertainty. Despite receiving some wonderful opening rain in late April, we can’t predict if there will be follow-up rain. Our members who have placed orders during the current drought have reported reasonable success even when the rains have been patchy. Using local provenance stock as we do greatly increases the chance of success in all conditions. Maintaining

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a consistent and regular planting regime will ensure success over the long term.

Choosing plants is made easy with a species list The TFL species list includes a height and shape classification of each plant, what soil type it is best suited to and a description of its possible uses, including windbreak, shade, firewood or shelter. These seedlings are not only native to SA, but grown from seed collected from within the TFL zone into which they will be planted. This means they occur naturally and are adapted to local conditions, therefore having a higher survival rate. They are also water efficient, pose no risk of becoming weed species and provide homes for local fauna.

Matching growers and landholders Each year we receive requests from landholders who would like to be matched to a particular volunteer grower. We are happy to accommodate requests and are pleased to see successful grower/landholder relationships develop and thrive. We do ask, however, that a few guidelines are followed: 1. The nominated grower is a member of Trees For Life 2. They fill out a volunteer grower form stating that they want to grow for you 3. They are offering to grow the same number of boxes that you have ordered. Similarly, if volunteer growers want to grow for a particular landholder, the landholder needs to place an order before July 31 and you must offer to grow the same number of boxes that they have ordered. If you need to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

job now complete it is now the turn of the landholder to finish off the cycle by planting the tubestock on their land. Here are a few tips to ensure you get great results: Transport: When transporting your seedlings it is important that you carry them in a covered vehicle so that they do not suffer wind damage or dry out. Holding: Before planting, keep your seedlings up off the ground, well watered and in full sunlight. Protect them from snails, caterpillars, grasshoppers, dogs, footballs and other hazards, and keep them weeded. Too tall? If your seedlings are too tall you can cut them back to about 15cms. They will grow bushy and be stronger than tall spindly ones. Watering: Just before planting your seedlings, water them well.

The next step Cut the tube to remove the seedling. Make the incision at the bottom of the tube and slit the tube right up to the top. This is the best way to remove seedlings from the soft plastic TFL tubes and results in least disturbance to the roots. Sharp blades obviously work best, but please take care and prevent cuts to hands by wearing leather gloves. Don’t give this job to very young members of the planting team. Once cut, open the tube right out, and remove and plant the seedling in the prepared hole. Backfill with friable soil, firm down and water if possible. When planting, try not to lose any soil from the roots but don’t discard the seedlings if this happens – just make sure to backfill soil firmly around the roots.

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or the first time, Trees For Life is offering to grow bulk orders of seedlings for the general public. Previously, project orders were only grown for council and government revegetation projects. Private companies, landscaping businesses, private landholders and commercial nurseries can now order quantities greater than 1000 seedlings, which our trained staff will grow at the Betty Westwood Nursery at Brooklyn Park. The minimum order for any one species is 100 seedlings and as per the Tree Scheme ordering season, selection can be made from the appropriate TFL zone order form. Project orders for winter sowing species close on July 1 and orders for summer grown species close on August 31, 2009. Orders are ready for collection and planting in May 2010. All seedlings grown by TFL are of local provenance, meaning that seed is collected from the area in which the seedlings will be planted. We can also grow from seed that you have collected locally yourself. For more information phone the nursery staff on (08) 8406 0500.

Tree Scheme statistics Landholder orders: 729,700 seedlings (14,594 boxes) Project orders: 60,000 seedlings (1200 boxes) Total seedlings (including backup): 841,900 seedlings (16,838 boxes) Volunteer growers: 1026 Growing for self: 694 Total growers: 1720

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Tree Scheme

Nursery a sea of green thanks to our growers and SA Water By MAUREEN REDFERN Tree Scheme Manager

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he 2008-9 propagation season is drawing to a close and most volunteer growers have now handed over their seedlings to their landholder. With most growers producing their usual excellent crop of seedlings, South Australia’s degraded landscape is in for a wonderful biodiversity boost with this year’s 822,000 plants bringing the Tree Scheme’s total to date to 28,400,000 plants, which is a significant achievement by our members. The special exemption to water restrictions granted by SA Water made things a lot easier this year. Our thanks go to the volunteer growers who are working to turn our aim of revegetating South Australia into a reality. What an extraordinary community effort this is. At our Westwood Nursery on Sir Donald Bradman Dr we propagated approximately 37,800 seedlings for special orders. The results were outstanding thanks to the ideal conditions at the nursery and the knowledge and experience of the staff and nursery volunteers.

In March, volunteer growers delivered around 72,200 seedlings for backup and various revegetation projects to the nursery so we had 110,000 seedlings to care for in total. They were a magnificent sight and a credit to everyone involved. We hope that by the end of July the nursery will be just about empty with all seedlings gone and planted. We will then begin winter propagation and start off the yearly cycle again.

Backup seedlings Each year some of our volunteers undertake to grow the backup seedlings so essential to ensure landholders receive the seedlings they order. The backup seedlings provide vital support to growers who have experienced difficulties germinating and growing their plants successfully. Backup seedlings were available to volunteer growers on April 17, 18 and 19. We had approximately 40,000 (800 boxes) of seedlings available for volunteer and landholder growers to make up shortfalls in their orders. 220 growers came to Westwood over the three-day period including a staggering 116 on the first day, taking around 450 boxes to complete their planting projects. If you missed backup this year, remember for next year that April is backup month and details are in the March newsletter. At the time of writing we have had the first good rains. Let’s hope that they continue.

Name change for some species For those very much into the botanical names of species, we thought you’d like to know about a few name changes. The simple ones: All Stipa become Austrostipa; All Danthonia become Austrodanthonia; Pittosporum phylliraeoides becomes Pittosporum angustifolium The more complicated change: Acacia calamifolia is split into two species - Acacia calamifolia and Acacia euthycarpa. It will be relatively easy to differentiate between the species when collecting seed, but for existing stock the division must be based on distribution. Most of what TFL has is the latter. We will keep the name Acacia calamifolia for what is more or less the pastoral zone (FN, FR, GO, NP zones). Please contact TFL for information sheets on the two species if you are interested.

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Bush For Life

Suman offers his expertise

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rees For Life’s latest admin volunteer is Suman Sharma, from Nepal, who has been sharing his GIS expertise with us since November. Suman is in Australia studying a Masters of Environmental Management and Sustainability (Geospatial Stream) at the University of South Australia. In his homeland he completed a Bachelor of Science in Forestry at the Institute of Forestry, Tribhuwan University, Pokhara, Nepal. Suman also worked for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Nepal Program and Bird Conservation Nepal for two years as a field biologist and has a keen interest in ecology, GIS and Remote Sensing. Suman’s good work is helping BFL compile better maps of our regional sites.

Helping with GIS mapping is Suman Sharma, of Nepal.

Bushland monitoring provides clearer picture

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ushcarers work hard on their sites for many years and are privileged to see positive changes in the bush as a result. Recording observations, keeping species lists and photo-points are good monitoring methods but we also need tools to observe and measure the more subtle changes in bushland condition resulting from our own site intervention activities and from other external factors. Bushland Condition Monitoring (BCM) is a tool that has been designed by the Nature Conservation Society of South Australia (NCSSA) to measure these changes accurately. It can be used by both volunteers and professionals alike. BCM involves setting up at least a couple of permanent assessment sites in a patch of bushland to monitor ten environmental indicators of bushland health. These indicators are: • Plant species diversity • Weed abundance and threat • Structural diversity • Tree habitat features • Regeneration • Tree and shrub health

Workshop targets tertiary students Bush For Life recently held its first introductory workshop specifically targeted at tertiary students. The workshop, funded through the State Government’s Volunteer Support Fund, provided an excellent opportunity for students studying environmental management, land management, conservation and sustainability to gain further skills and knowledge in conservation and bush regeneration. Participating students represented a wide cross-section of universities and colleges, including UniSA, Adelaide University, Immanuel College, Flinders University and TAFE. Bush For Life hopes to schedule future workshops for environmental students, subject to demand.

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Trees For Life Winter 2009 Number 111

Regional Coordinators Tom Bradley and Leanne Lawrence undertake some important bushland monitoring.

• Feral animal presence • Total grazing pressure • Fauna species diversity • Bushland degradation risk Regular annual scoring against each of the indicators will demonstrate the extent to which the condition of the bushland is improving or deteriorating. This allows an appropriate management plan to be developed for the site so that we get the most out of the work that is being done to bring the bushland back to health.

Piggott Range Road Reserve Recently, Bush For Life staff set up two assessment sites on a Bush For Life site on Piggott Range Road Reserve in the City of Onkaparinga. One assessment site was set up in a high biodiversity area that does not require a lot of management. The second site is in a more degraded bushland area where active olive control is being carried out. The sites will be monitored annually and the data will enable us to compare changes in the condition of the two sites over time. If the bush regeneration strategy is working we should be able to demonstrate improvements in a range of indicators and track the impact of external factors such as disease, new weed invasions and drought on the sites. This will allow for informed changes to be made to the bush regeneration strategy.

NCSSA is compiling a statewide database of BCM sites, which will give a much better picture in the trends in ecosystem health and pinpoint priority regional issues. Bushland Condition Monitoring is very rewarding as it allows you to look at your bushland in a more detailed way than normal, gaining an appreciation for the interactions and processes that occur on the site that would otherwise go unnoticed. If you think that monitoring is something that you would like to get involved in, NCSSA offers a two day training workshop. Please contact Samantha on 8406 0542 or samanthab@ treesforlife.org.au if you would like to register your interest. If you have already completed a BCM workshop and would like to undertake monitoring on a Bush For Life site, we have monitoring kits and manuals for trained carers to borrow. Please contact your Regional Coordinator.


Andrew Allanson … off to weedier pastures

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rees For Life farewelled one of its longest serving staff members, Andrew Allanson, in April. After 17 years at TFL, Andrew has taken up another opportunity to work in the environmental field, based closer to home in the Murray Mallee. Andrew first joined TFL in 1993 as the Tree Scheme Seedbank Officer. According to ‘sources’, he roamed the State collecting seed for the Tree Scheme, all the while observing a decline in the fragmented stands of remnant native vegetation that we relied upon as a seed source for revegetation. It was obvious to Andrew that weed invasion was one of the key threatening processes hastening the decline of local native vegetation so he, together with MaryAnne Healy (currently TFL’s Vice President), put together a proposal to start a community-based program encouraging volunteer involvement in bushcare. The program – to become Bush For Life - started with a $5000 grant from the Federal Government’s Save the Bush Fund in 1994. Little did they know that 16 years later the program would be managing over 4000 hectares of native vegetation with over 700 active bushcarers, having trained thousands of others in bushcare methods. As we all now know, Bush For Life has grown to be one of Australia’s largest community-based bush regeneration programs. Bush For Life colleagues say there are several reasons why the program succeeded so well from the start, not least due to Andrew’s infectious passion for South Australia’s flora and fauna.

The program also adopted the minimal disturbance approach pioneered by the Bradley sisters in NSW and Enid Robertson here in SA. This approach enabled BFL volunteers to help encourage biodiversity with the least effort - harnessing the processes of natural regeneration and applying selective pressures to invasive weed species. One of the first challenges Andrew faced in getting the program up and running was getting support from a wide range of partners, local governments and other land managers so volunteers could work on a range of sites. This prompted a major shift in council policy, increasing the focus on the protection of native vegetation and the community’s involvement in caring for it. The program later expanded to private landholders and heritage agreements and, due to the establishment of many new bush sites, Andrew decided regional coordinators were needed to support the evergrowing team of volunteers.

Andrew out in the field in 2005.

Hit squad created It was evident that some sites also required more help than the dedicated site volunteer could provide and so a ‘hit squad’ was later created. This squad comprised small numbers of volunteers, who targeted problem weeds on specific sites – such as bridal creeper, boneseed, olives and others that still plague the bushland of SA. The growing demand to help eradicate weeds resulted in the formation of the Bush Action Team (BAT) program in 1998, coordinated and further developed by Garry Forrest. BFL colleagues say Andrew had a knack of getting people to be enthusiastic about working in bushland. He also greatly encouraged the volunteers, helping them understand that they really could make a difference. As well as many hours out in the field, Andrew often co-presented Introductory Bush For Life Workshops with Andrew Crompton or Peter

At his farewell, with Mary-Anne Healy.

Tucker, teaching volunteers bush management techniques. In 1995 Andrew’s efforts in bush conservation were recognised when he received the ANCA Landcare Nature Conservation Award and in 2005 was a finalist in the highly valued Prime Minister’s Environmentalist of the Year award. In 2005 the Bush For Life program won the prestigious Banksia Environmental Foundation Award for providing leadership in protecting

The early days ... in 1998.

Bush, Land and Waterways. Andrew was again recognised in 2008 as the winner of the SA Weed Management Society’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Weed Management in South Australia. Despite moving on as a TFL staff member, Andrew has given an assurance he’s committed to staying with the Bush For Life program as a volunteer, so you may still come across our BFL visionary from time to time. We wish him all the very best.

BFL colleagues say Andrew had a knack of getting people to be enthusiastic about working in bushland. He also greatly encouraged the volunteers, helping them understand that they really could make a difference. Trees For Life Winter 2009 Number 111

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Carbon Neutral

Credit union serious about environment commitment

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The Carbon Neutral stand at the three-day Carbon Reduction and Trading Expo in Melbourne.

TFL on national stage

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ressure is ramping up for larger corporations and businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and to be accountable for the impact of their business operations on the environment. The three-day Carbon Reduction and Trading Expo in Melbourne in April provided an ideal platform for Trees For Life to promote its work in biodiversity through the Carbon Neutral offset program to delegates attending the conference and exhibition. Trees For Life’s stand was eye-catching and received a consistently high level of traffic and enquiries about carbon offsetting, revegetation and biodiversity, and community participation in environmental management. The feedback and level of interest from major businesses, corporations, staff and suppliers in offsetting carbon emissions through the Carbon Neutral biodiversity program was most encouraging. Some

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delegates expressed shock and pleasant surprise that the CN program is a not for profit enterprise aimed at positive and tangible long term outcomes for our environment. In promoting our services outside South Australia we were able to meet some key decision makers and as a result of our involvement we have developed some new and exciting leads and opportunities. Our thanks goes to our sister organisation TreeProject which helped us with some local seedlings for our display.

Trees For Life Winter 2009 Number 111

avings & Loans Credit Union has partnered with Trees For Life to help with its carbon reduction schemes. The Adelaide-based financial institution plans on being carbon neutral by the end of 2010 through a mix of carbon reduction activities and offsets provided by Trees For Life. Sarah Cutbush, Savings & Loans’ General Manager of Marketing & Development, said becoming carbon neutral was an important move for the credit union. “We’ve been working for the last five or six years to minimise our impact on the environment and three years ago we launched Project Zero,” Ms Cutbush said. “Project Zero is our plan to become carbon neutral by 2010 through a process of reducing our carbon emissions by 20 per cent each year based on our 2005/06 emissions. “By 2010 our goal is to have carbon emissions down to 20 per cent of our 2005-06

levels, which will then be offset using carbon credits. “As well as helping to soak up carbon emissions, the plantings carried out by Trees For Life help to revegetate our environment and increase biodiversity, so our commitment has two benefits for the environment.” Savings & Loans’ commitment to the environment stems from its tradition of community involvement. “We’ve always been big supporters of charity groups and organisations that support the wider community and protecting our environment is a big part of responding to the community’s needs,” said Ms Cutbush. Savings & Loans measures its carbon emissions over a number of areas, including air travel and fleet vehicle emissions which are currently being offset with Trees For Life. “We’re obviously calculating our direct energy use and vehicle emissions, but we’re also measuring the impact of our waste, recycling and paper consumption,” said Ms Cutbush.

Abbott Printers happy with offsetting decision Abbott Printers and Stationers is another example of a South Australian business putting its words into actions when it comes to reducing its carbon emissions. According to director Paul Abbott, the process of reducing the company’s carbon emissions was something they had been keen to explore over a number of years, but it had been pushed aside on the mistaken idea it would be “too hard”. “A passing comment from one of our customers recently spurred me to contact Trees For Life,” Paul said. “We are now delighted in the knowledge that we will be able to see and track the growth of our trees in South Australia. It’s tangible for us and our customers and we have no doubt that the financial cost to our business will be justified by the positive marketing benefits along the way.”


Direct Seeding

River project beats the odds

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hen Trees For Life successfully tendered to be one of the contractors in the newly established River Murray Forest Project in 2007, there was no guarantee of success. An eagerness to help the ailing river’s environment yes, but with it came an understanding of the toll the drought was taking on many properties being targeted through the project – parched earth and sparse rainfall to put it mildly. Under the governmental guidelines, Trees For Life invited landowners within 20 kilometres of the River Murray to register their interest in direct seeding their properties for revegetation and carbon sequestration projects. Peter and Sue Watts, who own a 17ha property 10 kilometres south of Loxton, chose to participate in the project because of their deep concern over the decline in native vegetation. Direct Seeding manager David Hein said in June 2008, 31 kilometres of the Watts’ property was direct seeded at a rate of 520 grams of seed per kilometre. It was done using TFL’s V-Blade direct seeding machine. Peter said seeding was done later than preferred but low rainfall earlier in the season necessitated this. “From January to May we had just 14mm of rain. During May we received a late but most welcome 34mm. This was followed by reasonable falls in June, July, and August (21.8, 26.8, and 27.2mm),” Peter said. The initial success of the planting, especially under drought conditions, had the direct seeding team excited.

“A report from the count conducted by PIRSA at the Watts’ property on March 27, 2009, indicates our success at native revegetation. TFL’s overall target of 350 eligible stems per hectare was exceeded,” David said. “The forecast is for useful rainfall coming, which will hopefully revive any plants under stress, and bring on some additional germination. The one real positive is that it has shown that given an average season, even in our marginal country, the TFL method of direct seeding using the V-Blade direct seeder can achieve good success in revegetation,” Peter said. Peter’s predictions of rain on the way proved correct, with an estimated 25mm falling in a three-day period in late April. TFL now plans to continue revegetating the Watts’ property with infill where establishment has been sparse, as well as along the periphery where germination wasn’t sustained in the earlier instance. “I hope that in years to come that this project will benefit future generations and thank TFL very much for their contribution,” Peter said.

Direct Seeding manager David Hein.

Good germination in one of the DS rows.

Inspecting germination rates are TFL volunteers from left, Dennis Slade, Richard Winkler and Alan Dandie.

Species used in the direct seeding mix

The RMF Project

Large seeded species: Acacia brachybotrya, Acacia colletioides, Acacia ligulata, Acacia nyssophylla, Acacia oswaldii, Acacia sclerophylla, Callitris gracilis, Dodonaea viscosa ssp. angustissima, Enchylaena tomentosa, Pittosporum phylliraeoides (angustifolium) and Senna artemisioides mixed sub species. Fine seeded species: Eucalyptus cyanophylla, Eucalyptus dumosa, Eucalyptus gracilis, Eucalyptus incrassata, Eucalyptus oleosa, Eucalyptus phenax, Eucalyptus socialis and Melaleuca lanceolata.

In 2007 SA Premier Mike Rann launched a State Government initiative to plant 2.5 million trees which would create a River Murray native forest between Morgan and Renmark in the Riverland. The first phase of the plantings involved utilising public land and the second phase provided private landowners with the opportunity to offset their production of carbon dioxide through tree planting on their properties. Several environmental organisations, including Trees For Life, have been part of the project.

Trees For Life Winter 2009 Number 111

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2009 seed collecting workshops (SC1) Tues Wed

Jun 16 Aug 5

Stirling Belair

2009 group seed collecting days (SD1) Tues Wed

Jun 23 Aug 12

meet Mt Torrens meet Myponga

2009 Bush For Life workshops (B1)

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ush regeneration means looking after the bushland we have left, using minimal disturbance strategies and techniques to help it repair itself. It can be extremely rewarding lending the bush a helping hand and seeing the native vegetation spring back. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer on one of our Bush For Life sites or would like to learn more about managing your own bushland then come along to an Introductory Bush For Life workshop. Sat Sat Tues Thurs Sat Tues

Jul 25 Aug 15 Aug 25 Sept 10 Sept 19 Oct 6

Brooklyn Park Stirling Playford Norton Summit Mt Barker Belair

2009 Advanced BFL workshops Brushcutting day 1 (theory) Thurs Jul 30 Brooklyn Park Brushcutting day 2 (practical) Fri Jul 31 Mitcham Grassy ecosystems: Thurs Aug 6 Belair Broadleaf weeds (9-12 in field) Plant ID Theory Sat Sep 12 Mt Barker (full day classroom) Plant ID Practical (9-12 in field) Thurs Sep 24 Tea Tree Gully Tues Oct 13 Woodcroft Native Grass ID and Management Thurs Oct 8 Brooklyn Park (half day class, half day field) Sat Oct 17 Mt Barker

TFL BOARD NOMINATION FORM Nomination form for: President, Secretary, Ordinary Board Members (2) I nominate myself/the person below for the position of:

Merchandise for sale

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eeling the cold now that winter is upon us? Then warm up with something from our new batch of winter merchandise including our popular Sherpa jackets for $70 (now available in women’s sizes) and polar fleece beanies for $15. Our new style ‘way to grow’ t-shirts are also available, and we think they’re a great buy at only $25. Boxed sets of Earth Greetings Nouveau Nature cards are also

for sale through Trees For Life (pictured below) at a cost of $15 each (including postage). Check out our catalogue at www.treesforlife.org.au, use the order form on your ReLeaf covering letter or phone the office on (08) 8406 0500.

Nominate someone special

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ach year Trees For Life celebrates the achievements of volunteers who we believe have given exceptional service over a number of years. This is your chance to nominate someone that you think should be recognised as a special contributor in any of our many activities. The only requirement is that both the nominee and the person nominating are TFL members. Recipients are presented with a framed certificate and a tree is planted for them. Since 2002 the trees have been planted at Monarto Zoological Park as part of the revegetation program. If you would like to nominate someone for a Thank You Tree award, please complete the form and return it to us by fax or mail. Nominations will be accepted until August 31. Successful nominees will be chosen by the Recognition Committee, which comprises staff and volunteers, and will be subject to approval by the Board and CEO. As an added incentive, nominators will also go into the draw to win a TFL ‘way to grow’ t-shirt!

...............................................................................................

Thank You Tree Nomination Form

Name of Nominee ................................................................

Date: ............................................................................................. Nominator: ................................................................................... TFL Member Number: ................................................................. Nominee: ...................................................................................... TFL Member Number: ................................................................. Reason for Nomination: (give details of service provided by nominee) ....................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................... Please return this form by fax on (08) 8406 0599 or by mail to 5 May Terrace, Brooklyn Park SA 5032

Membership No..................................................................... Signature ............................................................................... Nominated by ........................................................................ Membership No ..................................................................... Signature ................................................................................

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TFL ‘way to grow’ t-shirts.

Trees For Life Winter 2009 Number 111


For Members

Digging device aids planting

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sing water pressure to prepare a hole for planting is the key to this tubestock digging device developed by Tony Hayles of Curramulka (pictured left). Made of ¾ inch pipe and some pipe fittings, a closed pulley to deflect upward water and provide a foot step, a tap and quick release coupling, the digger is complete with connection to a petrol pump and water tank.

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How it works

Tony Hayles and granddaughter Tyra with his digging device.

Entertainment Book helps us

2010 Calendar call for entries

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f you like going out to restaurants, movies or want to try new activities but still like to save money where you can, a Gold Entertainment Book is a must. You can order a book by phoning Leean Eagle on 0407 879 726 (cost $65). By ordering through Leean, Entertainment Publications will donate a percentage from every book sold to Trees For Life. You’ll save money and be helping the environment out in the process.

hink you’re pretty good with a camera? Then why not submit something for the 2010 Trees For Life Calendar? The theme is SA native plants living in wetland, coastal and river environments. Photographs must be a minimum of 300dpi and in landscape format. Reduced versions can be initially emailed to taniak@treesforlife.org.au Entries close July 31 2009.

The Power’s green round – come and help kick it off

The motor is running on idle, you find the location to plant, place your foot on the pulley and turn on the tap. Water pressure builds up and with downward pressure of your foot, the ¾ inch pipe finds its way down to the level of the pulley, which is the correct depth for a tubestock seedling to then be placed in the hole. Bring displaced soil around the seedling, smearing the wet earth over the seedling soil and tamp down firmly. The action of creating the hole also pre-wets the soil below the seedling, reducing planting stress. The results have been great, even with the dry conditions suffered in recent years and establishment percentages have remained high. Final tip: wear rubber boots.

new environmental initiative by the AFL will see Round 20 of the 2009 fixture named the ‘Green Round’. The Power would like Trees For Life members to help celebrate and cheer them on against Carlton on Sunday August 16 and have offered 400 tickets to TFL members free of charge! If you’d like to attend the game contact the Trees For Life office on (08) 8406 0500 or email info@treesforlife. org.au to reserve your free tickets. A maximum of 4 tickets will be available per TFL membership. Get in quick to reserve your place!

TFL Family Fun Day – postponed to April 2010

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nfortunately due to a lack of numbers, the TFL Family Fun Day event planned for Sunday April 5 had to be cancelled. Despite considerable interest in the event, we’ve had to postpone until Sunday March 28, 2010. Discounted ticket prices will remain the same at $15, and can be purchased through TFL until March 19, 2010. Please phone the office on (08) 8406 0500 or email info@treesforlife.org.au if you’d like some tickets or more information.

Trees For Life Winter 2009 Number 111

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Service Directory

Trees For Life

Useful contacts

Trees For Life, 5 May Tce, Brooklyn Park 5032 Ph: (08) 8406 0500; Fax: (08) 8406 0599 info@treesforlife.org.au; www.treesforlife.org.au

NRM Board Contacts Adelaide & Mt Lofty Ranges Alinytjara Wilurara Eyre Peninsula Kangaroo Island Northern & Yorke South Australian Arid Lands South Australian Murray-Darling Basin South East

Trees For Life Board President - David Mitchell Vice President - Mary-Anne Healy Treasurer - David Bradley Secretary - Megan Harper Board Members - David Grybowski, Warren Hilton, Jonathan Lambert and Michael Cain

Kym Good Lorraine Rosenberg Kate Clarke Jeanette Gellard John Gavin

8273 9100 8357 3880 8682 5655 8553 4300 8636 2361 8648 5194

John Johnson Hugo Hopton

8532 1432 8724 6000

Local native seed & seedling suppliers Trees For Life Key Contacts Chief Executive Officer - Carmel Dundon Office Manager - Alison Platt Tree Scheme Manager - Maureen Redfern Bush For Life Manager - Mark Ellis Direct Seeding Manager - David Hein CN Operations (Land) - Dennis Hayles Seedbank Manager - Bruce Smith Membership - Carly Gowers Sponsorship - Glenys Perri Communications - Tania Kearney Fund raising - Bernie Omodei

Trees For Life Rural Contacts Gawler Noarlunga Willunga Mt Gambier Mt Pleasant Clare

Sylvia Nieuwenhuizen Graham Greaves Joyce West Paul Rosser Briony Schleuniger Ruth Charlesworth Dean Schubert

8406 8419 8386 1018 8323 7513 8323 8189 8724 9759 8524 6661 8843 4317

Trees For Life Blackwood Seeds - Fleurieu Peninsula, Mid North, Adelaide Hills & Murray Mallee Northern Lofty Native Seeds Ph Northern Lofty provenance. Fax Provenance Indigenous Nursery Adelaide coast, plains and hills Themeda - Adelaide Plains Wirrascape - Aldinga Plains Fleurieu Natives - Adelaide Hills and South Coast Yorke Seeds - Yorke Peninsula Eucaleuca Native Services - South East Growing Bush Southern Mt Lofty Ranges & South Adelaide Alexandrina Community Nursery Southern Fleurieu and South Coast Eyre Native Seeds - Eyre Peninsula & Far West Barossa Bushgardens - Barossa region Natural State - Mallee, Riverland, Adelaide Hills, South Coast, South East (www.naturalstate.com.au) South Para Biodiversity Project - Yvonne Gravier

8406 0500 8558 8288 8566 3073 8566 3630 8345 0300 8352 6778 8557 4173 8556 9167 8853 1120 8762 2061 0427 722 979 8554 2555 8682 6233 0448 676 348 8572 3049 0430 018 007

DEH Bush Management Program

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he Department for Environment and Heritage is divided into two broad functional areas in relation to the conservation of Biodiversity: Park Management and Biodiversity Conservation. Phone Bush Management advisers on (08) 8222 9311.

AMLR Land Management Program

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he Land Management Program is an education and advisory service provided to the rural landholders of the Mount Lofty Ranges and the Fleurieu Peninsula. Through the program, rural landholders can participate in low-cost education courses, and demonstration field days, and receive one-on-one farm advice. Phone (08) 8391 7500.

Murray River LAP

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ocal Action Planning groups undertake education and training programs, catchment monitoring, improved property management, wetland management and revegetation. Assistance is provided by way of direct funding or advice on technical, financial, engineering and contractual matters. Phone: (08) 8582 4477.

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Trees For Life Winter 2009 Number 111


Member Offers, Sponsors and Supporters

Getting help to ‘Undo the Damage’

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aving the honour of receiving an SBS Foundation Award (see article on page 3) to receive up to $100,000 of air time over the next 12 months, Trees For Life was faced with a dilemma … how to create a bold, creative and entertaining commercial on a not for profit budget? We knew of a young, internationally acclaimed SA company that could come up with a great product but doubted whether we could afford the service. Our optimism in approaching The People’s Republic of Animation was rewarded and they agreed to part sponsor the cost of producing our commercial. As a result we have a commercial we are proud of and one that will help attract further support from the community. Titled ‘Undo the Damage’ the 30 second commercial invites South Australians to join, volunteer or donate to Trees For Life. PRA’s Production Director James Calvert says they’re happy to be able to provide their expertise in animation and storytelling, helping Trees For Life spread its message and call people to action.

“I hope that our work on the TV commercial is as inspiring as the work of Trees For Life,” James said. The commercial (TVC) will screen on SBS from June 1 and will provide TFL with a quality resource we can feature on our website, screen at events and upload on to YouTube for global exposure. The TVC conveys a positive message of what Trees For Life members achieve and will help to educate about the state of our environment and encourage the community to actively participate to make a difference. We hope that through the medium we can increase our membership and volunteer numbers while attracting more donations to support our work. Without the support of PRA we may not have seen our dream of communication through mainstream media become a reality. As a result of PRA’s support we hope to see a quantum leap in the general awareness and perception of Trees For Life. To see examples of The PRA’s work go to their website: www.thepra.com.au

Register for our badge day

Perpetual Sponsor

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rees For Life will be holding a badge/fund raising day in the CBD to coincide with National Tree Day on Friday July 31. We need as many volunteers as possible to help us raise awareness of our work and to raise funds. Can you spare a few hours of your time? Register your interest by phoning 8406 0500.

Can you help?

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o you work for an organisation or know of a business which may be interested in supporting our work through sponsorship? TFL has various sponsorship levels available that can be tailored to suit specific requirements including conservation sponsor, special events sponsorship and program sponsorship. Support of TFL can help position your business as an environmentally aware operator and helps fund our commitment to education, training, and volunteer support. For all enquiries contact Glenys Perri glenysp@ treesforlife.org.au

Disclaimer Trees For Life takes no responsibility for the services or products featured in its quarterly magazine, ReLeaf.

Trees For Life Winter 2009 Number 111

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Ma ggie t he m ag pie by H an n ah

Get colouring

Notes from Schools Tree Curramulka Day fundraising Primary School

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A

re you interested in helping to raise funds for our environmental work through your school? With Schools Tree Day coming up on Friday July 31, this could be a great opportunity to help our environment and have fun. We’ve been lucky enough to have several schools raise funds by holding both casual days and cake stalls in the past. TFL can supply ribbons or stickers to schools which would like to hold a fundraising day. Please contact the office on (08) 8406 0500 or info@treesforlife.org.au.

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ennis was telling our class about the storeys of the Australian environment. The first storey is made up of grasses like iron grass, buffalo grass and even creepers and weeds. The second storey is made of shrubs and small trees. And finally the third storey is made of tall trees over 2 metres. The Olearia pannosa is under threat from natural habitat destruction. The Curramulka Primary School is lucky enough to have it in our Roadwatch area and we are trying hard to protect it.

Free footy tickets

Did you know?

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he Port Adelaide Football Club is giving TFL members a chance to attend their green round game against Carlton for free! See Page 13 for all the details.

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by Jack

Trees For Life Winter 2009 Number 111

id you know that around 20 per cent of landfill rubbish consists of yard waste and other organic products? What a waste of potentially delicious garden food! By collecting biodegradable ‘rubbish’ and storing it in your own compost bin, you can make your own nutrient rich soil to feed your garden. Items that can be composted include grass clippings, apple cores, coffee grinds, shredded paper, fruit and vegetable scraps, and even your own hair. Once mixed in a compost bin, items are broken down and converted into free organic fertilizer. This is a much friendlier product than the harmful greenhouse gas methane, which is produced by anaerobic (no oxygen) decomposition in landfill.

n the town of Curramulka a man from Trees For Life called Dennis came to tell us about the Acacia enterocarpa. The Acacia enterocarpa, also known as the jumping jack wattle, is under threat because of introduced weeds and animals but this is a good thing though. Introduced birds eat the seeds and then poop it out and it grows in the bird poop from the moisture and manure which makes the plant spread. It has a lot of spikes but they are not just used for self-defence but also can be a very good home for little birds safe from foxes and other birds of prey.

If you are interested in composting at home you can buy a bin at major nurseries or garden centres, or alternatively you can make your own. Once you get started you will not only be helping your garden thrive, but also diverting waste from landfill, and reducing greenhouse gases

Quiz: True or False? Write X for your answer. 1. True False The number of growth rings is used to estimate the height of a tree. 2. True False As drink cans are not biodegradable, they must go to landfill. 3. True False Many commercial compost bins are themselves made of recycled materials.

Answers: 1) True, 2) False, they can be recycled; 3) True.

et your colour pencils sharpened and ready – Trees For Life is holding a colouring competition, using the beautiful Murray River as the theme. Three great environmental prize packs are up for grabs, thanks to donations from the Warrawong Sanctuary, Amazing Drumming Monkeys and www.todae.com.au. To enter, either download the competition sheet from our website (www.treesforlife. org.au/home/kidsbranch) or phone our office and we will post you one. Send in your entries to 5 May Terrace, Brooklyn Park 5032 by July 17.

by Rhett


ReLeaf Winter 2009