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Greenfleet, AAMI and Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses help bushfire recovery


Two of Greenfleet's community focused supporters, AAMI and Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses have funded the planting of 10,000 trees to support the Watsons Creek Biolink Project.

August 27, 2010 was a cold, and at times wet, day in Watsons Creek, adjoining Kinglake National Park, but that did not stop 50 eager volunteers from Suncorp (AAMI, GIO, Apia), Greenfleet and Parks Victoria from getting their hands dirty to assist with the landscape's recovery.


During a delicious morning tea kindly donated by Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses, Sara Gipton (CEO Greenfleet), Cr Peter Beales (Mayor of Murrindindi Shire Council), Tony Fitzgerald (ranger from Parks Victoria) and Annabelle Butler (EM of Public Policy and Stakeholder Management for Suncorp General Insurance) all said a few words about the project and its significance before thanking the volunteers.

The Watsons Creek Biolink Project aims to link Kinglake National Park and the unburnt Warrandyte State Park, to revegetate the area and assist with fauna recovery.


Parks Victoria's Ranger Tony Fitzgerald explains that one particular mammal, the Brush-tailed Phascogale, a small nocturnal marsupial, hasn't been recorded in Kinglake National Park since the fires.  This revegetation will create a corridor to help animal colonies such as these rebuild their numbers.


At the end of that first day in August 2010, pride and fatigue could be read on every face - having planted almost 1,300 native seedlings, ranging from wattles and eucalypts to shrubs and grasses.


Since April 2010, volunteers have planted more than 5,500 seedlings at the site and professional tree planting contractors have planted another 9,000.


"The choice of indigenous species will not only provide the best conditions for survival of the seedlings, but will also offer the best habitat for wildlife," explained Greenfleet foresters.


"While the media and communities not directly affected by these fires have moved on, the recovery process is still very much ongoing.  We are pleased our biodiverse forest projects not only take carbon pollution from the atmosphere to tackle climate change, but they also aid recovery of this fire affected landscape," said Sara Gipton, CEO Greenfleet.


Further plantings will take place in 2011 and 2012 to complete the linkages.



About Greenfleet

Greenfleet is a not-for-profit organisation that exists to make a difference, not a profit.  Greenfleet encourages organisations and individuals to avoid and reduce creating greenhouse pollution, and then offset their remaining impact by planting native forests.  These forests do more than take carbon from the atmosphere.  Greenfleet forests also help to reduce salinity and soil erosion, provide essential habitat for native wildlife, and help build climate change resilience across the Australian landscape.


About the project

The Watsons Creek Biolink Project is creating a link between Kinglake National Park and the unburnt Warrandyte State Park, to revegetate this area and foster fauna recovery.


90% of Kinglake National Park was destroyed in the 2009 bushfires.  The plant life was severely affected and the population of small mammals has been dramatically reduced.  Indeed, before the fires, small mammals, like the Brush Tailed Phascogale and the Common Dunnart, were found in both parks.  Surveys since the fires have not recorded any Phascogale in Kinglake National Park.


By revegetating the area between the two parks, this project will provide a land-bridge for the Warrandyte population of Phascogale to recolonise Kinglake National Park.  In addition to increasing the habitat available to the Phascogale, the project will also benefit other vulnerable species like the Common Dunnart, which is not so common anymore.


This project has been jointly funded by Greenfleet supporters, AAMI ($10,000) and Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses ($10,000), and the VBRRA Fire Recovery Natural Values program ($120,000).

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