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80,000 native trees in Bundaberg: a win for the community, environment and turtles!
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80,000 native trees in Bundaberg: a win for the community, environment and turtles!

80,000 trees planted to restore the Barolin Nature Reserve

Bundaberg's biggest environmental reforestation project is officially completed! Greenfleet and Bundaberg Regional Council joined forces this year to complete a major revegetation project in the Barolin Nature Reserve. 80,000 native seedlings have now been planted throughout nearly 90 ha of the Reserve.

This project will deliver incredible environmental benefits, community opportunities and tourist value for decades to come.

"This will become one of more than 425 forests we have planted across Australia and New Zealand since 1997 on behalf of our supporters. As it grows, the forest at Barolin Nature Reserve will capture carbon pollution from the atmosphere, conserve biodiversity, provide extra habitat for wildlife and more bushland for people to enjoy," said Greenfleet's CEO, Wayne Wescott.

A range of canopy and understory species were selected and sourced from the local nursery Gin Gin Landcare to restore the original vegetation of the cleared areas. Species selection included Queensland Blue Gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis), Brown Salwood (Acacia aulacocarpa) and Silver Paperbark (Melaleuca dealbata).

A tree planting day was held on May 9 with a number of key stakeholders and supporters from the community; including staff from Churches of Christ in Queensland, which is helping to fund this revegetation work through the organisation's carbon offsets. On the day, there was a strong sense of achievement. The tree planting volunteers were proud to see the trees in the ground, thanks to their amazing effort. Everyone loved coming together as a community to help transform the land for a greater good.

Other key supporters of this project include Smartgroup, Telstra and Disney.

Greenfleet will maintain the planted areas until the trees are established, with local Council guaranteeing the trees will remain in place for a minimum of 30 years. The trees are expected to offset well over 50,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in that time. That is the equivalent of removing more than 11,000 medium cars from the road for one year.

80,000 trees planted to protect the turtles

The region of Bundaberg is richly diverse in environmental treasures. From coastal and marine habitats to wetlands and bushland, each ecosystem plays a vital role in supporting rare and endangered plant and animal species.

The Barolin Nature Reserve backs onto Mon Repos Conservation Park, a regional park supporting the largest concentration of nesting marine turtles on the eastern Australian mainland. In particular, Mon Repos is the most significant loggerhead turtle rookery in the South Pacific and is a key global nesting area for the vulnerable green turtle. Loggerhead turtles are listed as critically endangered* in this region and the success of nesting and hatching turtles at Mon Repos is critical for the survival of the species.

"The trees will play a vital role in in helping the endangered marine turtles at Mon Repos by reducing the glow of artificial light onto the beach. Mon Repos rangers explained that the baby turtles need a dark beach with only the natural moonlight to guide them safely to the sea. I am very proud that, in the long-term, the Greenfleet forest will help them to survive," Wayne Wescott explained.

As it grows, the forest in Barolin Nature Reserve will also capture carbon from the air, protect the Reserve's unique biodiversity, incidentally improve water quality in the fringing coral reef and extend habitat for native wildlife.

A win for the local community

This reforestation project is a win for Council, the community, the local economy and the environment.

It is revitalising one of the region's most popular and significant natural areas and creating new job opportunities for local indigenous people. Greenfleet worked with the Gidarjil Development Corporation to provide employment opportunities to members of the Gooreng Gooreng people, traditional owners of the land.

Together with Bundaberg Regional Council, we are looking to establish further plantings across the region.

Entirely funded by Greenfleet's carbon offset program, together with our supporters we invested close to a quarter million dollars in this project and comes at no cost to Council.

This project is another demonstration of how carbon offset donations make a tangible difference on the ground, for the environment and local communities. Our work wouldn't be possible without our generous supporters who believe they have the power to take climate action and assist reforestation efforts around the country.

If you're already offsetting with Greenfleet, share this story far and wide, and show your friends and family the difference you’re making!

If you're not, it's time to jump on the bandwagon: offset your carbon emissions today!


* Source: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/84156809/0

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