A women and a farmer standing in front of a ute tray filled with native tree saplings.

WWF-Australia ambassador and model Victoria Lee with Potato and lamb farmer Garry Kadwell. Photo: WWF-Australia

Around 20 corporate volunteers from Australian furniture retailer Koala, WWF-Australia, ambassador Victoria Lee, Great Eastern Ranges and International Volunteers for Peace helped farmers plant trees for local wildlife at an award-winning Land for Wildlife property near Crookwell in October.

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

Farming for the future

Property owner Garry Kadwell has integrated conservation into his property management, and 40% of his 880-hectare property is dedicated to ecological zones.

More than 1000 seedlings of eleven species including Eucalyptus, Acacia, and Callistemon were planted by volunteers to help Garry reach his sustainability goal. These plants will form a shelter belt to benefit the property by providing protection for livestock, reducing soil erosion, and improving biodiversity while reconnecting hundreds of acres of bushland for native animals, including the Kreft’s glider.

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.

A group near an old tractor in front of a dam.

Garry Kadwell with International Volunteers for Peace, Anong and Song from Cambodia, and K2W Link’s Mary Bonet.

The Koala corridor

“People play an essential role in maintaining conservation areas. This is one way to help contribute to a healthy environment,” K2W Link project coordinator Mary Bonet says.

These trees will be locally known as the Koala corridor recognising the partnership between Koala and WWF-Australia. Through the partnership, Koala helps support WWF-Australia’s conservation programs like Cores, Corridors and Koalas. Kanangra-Boyd to Wyangala was selected as one of three priority landscapes in the Great Eastern Ranges as a focus for on-ground efforts.

Australian model and WWF-Australia ambassador Victoria Lee also attended. She has partnered with WWF-Australia for four years to support action on environmental issues.

“I grew up in Narrandera, a small town in the Riverina. I was constantly surrounded by nature, by open space and fresh air. I grew up with a natural love and appreciation of nature, and I always wanted to do all I can to conserve and protect it,” Victoria said.

More recently she has added her voice to help protect greater gliders from extinction.

“What we did today was essentially create a corridor for koalas, greater gliders, or whatever chooses to call this area home.”