UoW plant trees to offset carbon

A group of University of Wollongong staff and students will visit the Berry area on 20 October to plant over 500 native trees as part of an ongoing initiative to reduce their carbon footprint.

The group will help to complete a 1.1km wildlife corridor planting along parts of Coolangatta and Moeyan Roads which is on NSW Sport & Recreation managed land south of Berry.

The idea of university staff and students offsetting carbon was generated by Associate Professor Owen Price, Director at the Centre for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfire at the School of Earth, Atmosphere and Life Sciences at the University of Wollongong.

Although Covid-19 has dramatically reduce air travel since March this year, university staff often fly to attend conferences and for research related reasons so planting trees is one way to help offset the carbon from all that flying.

Dr Price contacted David Rush, Bush Connect Project Manager and Land for Wildlife Regional Assessor for the Illawarra Shoalhaven region to connect the staff and students with potential tree planting projects on the coast.

“Planting native trees, shrubs and groundcovers is a great way to offset carbon, but it is also critical for creating corridors for native wildlife”, said David.

“For over one hundred and fifty years our native forests have been cleared, fragmented and lost and we have numerous native animals species that are now listed as threatened or endangered plus several vegetation communities that are also threatened”, added David.

“Projects like the Berry Bush Links and Thin Green Line are planting vegetation corridors for native animals such as the Glossy Black Cockatoo, to name just one of the many animal species that benefit from these projects.

Although a range of different species are to be planted for a range of native animals, we are also planting a number of Casuarina species which provide food for these beautiful cockatoos”.

The tree planting activity will be a Covid-19 safe activity with attendees providing their own tools, gloves, food and water and will be keeping their distance from each other during the planting.

“This is an excellent way for people to give something back to the environment which is being hammered by the impacts of climate change, bushfires and rural development pressures.

The Bush Connect projects also provide funding for landowners to help reduce invasive weeds, plant trees, control feral animals and study native animals.

Landowners that would like to get involved or learn more about the projects which are funded by the NSW Environmental Trust can call David on 0418 977 402 or email: davidr@npansw.org.au.

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