In the Tablelands
#7 Replanting the Rainforest
One Friday during my visit in the Tablelands (about 1 hour from Cairns), I joined TREAT volunteers in the lake Eacham nursery.
I discover this organization for the first time and was impressed by the member’s connection to protect their environment. Very interesting to see that the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, the Government and the volunteers work together with the same objective.
They showed me all the different seeds they had at the nursery, explained to me the different steps to follow to plant a tree and so much more.
Being part of this amazing organization made me feel great, so bad I couldn’t come back the next Friday.
What is TREAT ?
TREAT stands for TRees for the Evelyn & Atherton Tablelands.
In the early 1980’S, Geoff Tracey, rainforest ecologist and Joan Wright, biologist, recognised the need for a community based tree planting organisation.
Today, TREAT is an incorporated organisation with approximately 500 member households across the Tablelands.
TREAT has a special working relationship with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service - Restoration Services.
Why TREAT ?
When TREAT began in 1982, the Atherton Tableland had been settled by Europeans for approximately a century. Earlier, this country had been covered with forest. Within this dense, tropical tree cover, the indigenous people lived in harmony with the nature.
The first Europeans came to the Tableland for “red gold, the great red cedar trees whose timber was highly prized for building and furniture. Logging to extract these giant trees was so thorough that there are now very few left.
Then, during the first half of the twentieth century, the forest was cleared progressively for farms. Because the land had originally carried tropical rainforest, farmers assumed that the soil was very rich.
The timber and farming industry had transformed the Tableland…
TREAT’s objective ?
Treat’s aim is to encourage people to plant native rainforest trees. Membership has increased to well over 500 as more and more landowners with farms or urban gardens felt the need to plant native trees for a variety of reasons - such as the rehabilitation of degraded lands, improvement of water quality, the restoration of forest remnants, rebuilding vegetated wildlife corridors to enable wildlife to move freely or, … just to enhance the landscape.
TREAT’s work ?
Every Friday, members of the organization meet and do potting up, cleaning seeds, weeding the young, potted trees.
But TREAT volunteers not only plant trees, they design and manage complex projects, supervise and monitor implementation and provide annual progress reports to agencies providing financial support; they are also involved in a number of other related activities, such as monitoring wildlife populations, studying vegetation changes and running school awareness programs.
The right tree in the right place for the right reason.