Posted on Sep 01, 2022
Posted by Sam McCurdy, with photos provided by Jane Moore and David Anderson:
At 10:30 am on Sunday 28th August, a group of approximately 35 volunteers met at Grasmere Wetlands, off Inglis Road in Berwick, to plant 1,000 trees and shrubs.  After the preceding cold and wet days, we had a beautiful sunny day for the work.
The team of volunteers was made up of members of the Rotary Club of Berwick and the community, the St Margaret School’s Interact Club, as well Vadasna Gunawardena from Nossal High School with her parents Vichi and Vichithrani.  Vadasna was volunteering as part of her Duke of Edinburgh award.
Simonette Charles, met us there with a Ute filled with all the equipment needed for planting the seedlings.  Simonette is an Environmental Projects Officer with the Community, Education and Engagement team at the City of Casey.  She explained the purpose of the plantings is to establish a wildlife corridor along the new Cardinia Creek re-alignment.  The trees and shrubs planted will:
  • provide protection for wildlife to safely move along the Creek,
  • provide a habitat for local birds and animals,
  • protect the Creek, which in turn provides a home for fish species, such as the threatened Dwarf Galaxies fish,
  • improve stormwater quality and
  • provide a beautiful place for local residents to enjoy.
The seedlings had already been placed on the ground by the City’s contractor, where each was to be planted.  This meant the volunteers job was to dig a hole using the implements provided, plant the seedlings, and ensure that the soil was tightly packed around the surface, to ensure that the potting mix did not dry out.
The volunteers split into teams of two or three, with one creating the hole and the others placing the seedling in the ground and packing the soil around the surface. Eric Boon and his wife Wendy were well prepared, using a battery driven drill to create the holes for their seedlings with minimal effort.
Although the task to plant 1,000 seedlings in 2 hours, appeared to be unattainable, the goal was achieved within 1.5 hours.  This allowed the volunteers to retire to the barbecue prepared by Trevor Watson and Jack Kraan, with liquid refreshments supplied by Funno, to reflect on a job well done.
This was a very successful community effort that was organised by Jen Marshall and Jack Kraan.  It sits comfortably within Rotary’s 7th Area of Focus, ‘Supporting the Environment. 
Well done to everyone involved!