Armidale Tree Group General Manager Alicia Cooper, left, with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall.
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Thursday, 9 April 2020
NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has joined a community effort to revegetate and improve the ecology of parklands across the Armidale district by announcing a $58,114 State Government grant for the Armidale Tree Group today.
Mr Marshall said the grant would help the Tree Group purchase machinery to support the bulk planting of native seedlings across the region.
“Sadly, the lack of rain over the last two years has decimated hundreds of native trees across our region,” Mr Marshall.
“The Armidale Tree Group is a not-for-profit organisation and every dollar it makes is reinvested into its nursery and planting programs.
“This leaves very few funds to employ contractors to help with hole digging for tree planting or to hire machinery to clear weeds.
“Digging holes can be tough, labour intensive work and this grant will purchase a small tractor, with post-hole digger, to ease the pressure on volunteers during designated tree planting days.
“As our local ecology starts to recover from the devastation of the drought, it will fall on organisations like the Armidale Tree Group, with its 200 members, to host planting days and remove weeds from our native woodlands, to give new trees the best chance of survival.
“The Tree Group has been doing important conservation work locally since 1983, and hopefully this tractor will improve its efficiency and allow it to continue improving our environment for many years to come.”
Armidale Tree Group General Manager Alicia Cooper said the funding would make the organisation’s nursery more sustainable during future droughts.
“Unfortunately the drought of 2018-19 took a serious toll on our nursery stocks, as we were unable to use town water to keep our sapling and vegetable seedlings alive,” Ms Cooper said.
“Luckily, we were able to use our dam for watering, however the water quality was quite low, which brought new challenges.”
“To avoid these issues in future droughts we will buy two 22,700 litre tanks to catch rainwater from buildings around the Tree Group’s nursery. This water will then be used to water thousands of native plants and vegetable seedlings which are sold to the community.
“I honestly believe the Tree Group’s work is having a positive impact across our area and am look forward to putting the new tractor to work.”