Around 20 corporate volunteers from Australian furniture retailer Koala, WWF-Australia, and International Volunteers for Peace helped plant habitat for local wildlife at an award-winning Land for Wildlife property near Crookwell in October.
The community-tree planting event was coordinated by GER regional partner, Kanangra-Boyd to Wyangala Link (K2W Link), as part of Cores, Corridors and Koalas – the Great Eastern Ranges partnership with WWF-Australia to restore and connect critical habitat for forest-dependant native wildlife.
Property owner Garry Kadwell has integrated conservation into his property management, and 40% of his 880-hectare property is dedicated to ecological zones.
More than 1,000 seedlings of eleven species including Eucalyptus, Acacia, and Callistemon were planted by volunteers to help Garry reach his sustainability goal. These plants will form a shelter belt to benefit the property by providing protection for livestock, reducing soil erosion, and improving biodiversity while reconnecting hundreds of acres of bushland for native animals, including the kreft’s glider.
In the past, land clearing for agriculture has threatened natural connections in the landscape impacting the migratory routes and habitat of native wildlife. Garry has enacted land stewardship practices that recognise and respect the landscape while maintaining a highly productive property that produces on average 2,000 tonnes of seed potatoes and 1,800 prime lambs.
“People play an essential role in maintaining conservation areas. This is one way to help contribute to a healthy environment,” K2W Link project coordinator Mary Bonet says.
These trees will be known locally as the Koala Corridor in recognition of the partnership between Koala and WWF-Australia, which supports conservation work to protect koalas and their forest homes which they share with many other species including the endangered southern greater glider.
Australian model and WWF-Australia ambassador Victoria Lee also attended. She has partnered with WWF-Australia for four years to support action on environmental issues.
“I grew up in Narrandera, a small town in the Riverina. I was constantly surrounded by nature, by open space and fresh air,” she says.
“I grew up with a natural love and appreciation of nature, and I just always wanted to do all I can to conserve and protect it.”
More recently she has added her voice to help protect greater gliders from extinction.
“What we did today was essentially create a corridor for koalas, greater gliders, or whatever chooses to call this area home,” she says.