Peel-Harvey Catchment Council
To celebrate National Tree Day, the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council (PHCC) coordinated two community planting days at Austin Bay Conservation Park in South Yunderup, which saw over 8,000 seedlings planted.
The first planting day was on Friday, 1 July, involving a class of Year 1 students, teachers and parents from Pinjarra Primary School who planted over 2,000 seedlings.
PHCC coordinator Colleen Archibald said, "The children did a great job and it's exciting to see the future generation getting involved".
The second event took place on Sunday, 3 July involving over 30 volunteers who planted more than 6,000 salt-tolerant seedlings. These seedlings were planted to replace foreshore vegetation that died due to changes in salinity and tides in the estuary.
The volunteers enjoyed a fun day of planting, fine weather, lunch provided by the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) and afternoon tea provided by Satterley Property Group.
"It is fantastic to see all the volunteers who came today, including past and present staff, helping out and getting their hands dirty", said Jane O'Malley, PHCC Executive Officer.
The community planting days are part of an overall partnership project to protect Austin Bay. The project will see 35,000 seedlings planted to replace lost vegetation along the shoreline and builds on recent weed control which saw the eradication of 400 hectares of Watsonia. Interpretive signage and access control have also been installed.
This project forms part of the South West Catchments Council's Groundworks Program, supported through funding from the Australian Government's Caring for our Country and Landcare Australia's MobileMuster Program and the Government of Western Australia, being delivered by PHCC in partnership with DEC.
Austin Bay is part of the Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar system, a wetland of international significance. 42,000 water birds are found within the Austin Bay area, including migratory shorebirds from as far away as the Arctic Circle.