Three people standing in a paddock with rows of newly planted trees in the background.

K2W Link project coordinator Mary Bonet with property owner Garry Kadwell and Great Eastern Ranges board member Ian Pulsford.

In April, around fifteen volunteers aged between 3 and 70 helped plant native trees and shrubs at an award-winning Land for Wildlife property near Crookwell.

The community-tree planting event was coordinated by the K2W Link as part of Cores, Corridors and Koalas – a partnership between The Great Eastern Ranges and WWF-Australia to restore and connect critical habitat for forest-dependant wildlife.

Property owner Garry Kadwell has dedicated 40% of his agricultural property to conservation.

Five hundred seedlings of a range of eleven species, including Eucalyptus, Acacia, Leptospermum and Callistemon, were planted to restore a riparian area along the Crookwell River and provide connectivity and habitat for wildlife. The plants will benefit the river by stabilising the soil, filtering water entering the river, and providing shade. They will also fill the habitat gaps within the wildlife corridor, creating safe migratory routes and shelter for animals.

“Planting together benefits our community’s health and well-being and the native animals and plants in the Kanangra-Boyd to Wyangala wildlife corridor. By teaming up to plant trees, we create a wonderful environment for our native wildlife. “This is a great place to explore and connect with nature and learn about the environment,” K2W Link project coordinator Mary Bonet said.

A group of people of all ages on the back of a trailer in a paddock.

In the past, land clearing for agriculture has threatened natural connections in the landscape, impacting the migratory routes and habitat of native wildlife.

Garry has enacted land stewardship practices that recognise and respect the landscape while maintaining a highly productive property that produces, on average, 2000 tonnes of seed potatoes and 1800 prime lambs.

The Southern Tablelands members of the Australian Plant Society grew the trees and shrubs from seeds collected at local reserves and properties. “Their members have a deep understanding of the local environment, and their efforts to grow the plants from local plants have been invaluable,” Mary says.

After the hard work, volunteers toured the farm to learn more about the property with owner Garry Kadwell, who has successfully enacted land stewardship practices while maintaining a highly productive agricultural business.