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Rotary West Community Tree Planting

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Planting the last tree on a misty Sunday morning were Helen and Richard McDowell watched on by Nick McKinley Leigh Catchment Group and Farmer and Land owner David Wells

ON a cool spring Sunday morning on the 22nd of October 2017, The Rotary Club of Ballarat West planted 540 trees at Horsehill Road, Elaine.

The planting coincided with the Leigh Catchment Group’s Phoenix Project, a project that aims to facilitate community and landholder involvement in protecting, enhancing and rehabilitating the natural environment on their properties that were affected by the Scotsburn fire in December 2015.

It also coincides with Ian Riseley’s, the world President of Rotary, call for every Rotarian worldwide to plant trees.

The revegetation works completed by the 8 Rotarians and 4 friends of Rotary on the day helped landowner and local farmer David Wells replace a shelterbelt that was destroyed in the fire.

The shelter belt will provide protection for his stock as well as increase the biodiversity in the area, as many trees in the area have failed to recover from the fire.

“Walking back to the car looking back up the hill at all the trees staked and protected by the plastic guards we had planted looked fantastic. It was very satisfying and felt really good to be able to help one of the fire affected property owners, who also happened to be a neighbour, ” said Rotarian Lidia Aitken, the organiser of the tree planting.

The Ballarat West Rotary club have been helping the Scotsburn fire affected since day one by providing some of the meals for the Blazeaid fence builders and securing plants and potting mix for the Friends of the Buninyong Gardens Nursery, which can now be accessed by the fire affected families at no cost. Judith Bailey is the contact at the Nursery.