Prior to landcare there were very few trees in the Lismore area, other than 100 year old planted sugar gums, with a very low diversity of tree and shrub species and little or no understorey.
In the early days of landcare there was significant interest in revegetation with up to 150,000 tubestock planted annually, but over time interest waned. Funding was harder to source, there were some less successful plantings, and some landholders had simply done a lot in early years and decided to give it a rest for a while.
Recently the Group has been successful in gaining significant funds - from both Federal and State Governments, the local CMA and Corangamite Shire - which has resulted in an increase in landholder activity and interest. Annual plantings have increased by approximately 100% over 4 years with approx. 57,000 tubestock being planted this year revegetating 47 hectares and creating about 35kms of "habitat" that over a number of years will create significant linkages across our landscape.
Small grants – free trees
The Group has also rekindled interest in Landcare - and tree planting - by just giving away small numbers of trees (usually 50 - 100) as part of community tree ‘giveaways’. These are very popular, encourage the planting of indigenous species, and help promote landcare. This has been funded by small grants which have the advantage of being easy to manage and have minimal reporting requirements. Some participants have been encouraged to go on and self-fund larger plantings, for example two landholders who planted 100 tubestock last year have planted 1000 plants each this year.
Community capacity is built by providing seedlings for local clubs, groups and schools for plantings the grounds they manage. The tree giveaway program has reinvigorated Landcare groups by renewing their sense of purpose and practical focus. A number of new members have joined, many lapsed members have rejoined, and some members who had not participated in onground activities have been encouraged to start planting. In one case, this was enough to bring a whole group out of remission and back into action again.
The Landcare Share Centre is grassroots Landcare supporting grassroots Landcare
The Share Centre is a service provided by Landcare Victoria Incorporated (LVI)