The Forests WOMADelaide Built
For over 12 years the WOMADelaide Foundation has been working together with Greening Australia to offset the environmental footprint of its famous four-day music festival.
Contributing $2 from every WOMADelaide ticket purchased into native tree planting programs throughout regional South Australia, WOMADelaide has established a forest near the Coorong and Lower Lakes, with more than 70,000 native trees and shrubs planted over the past 12 years.
Upping the ante in 2018, WOMADelaide and Greening Australia expanded its planting program, with the establishment of a second forest on stunning Kangaroo Island.
Mick Durant, Operations Lead at Greening Australia, said that since the initial planting of a Sheoak grove on KI, they have continued with direct seeding another 24 ha with a diversity of native shrubs, and planting 7,000 Kangaroo Island Narrow-leaved Mallee trees – a mallee ecosystem that cannot be found anywhere else on earth.
Image: Mick Durant (Greening Australia) at the new Kangaroo Island planting site.
“We’ve been monitoring the property this year to see how the direct seeding has gone, and will need to pay close attention over the summer,” Mick said.
“Naturally we’ll lose a few seedlings due to our hot and dry summers, but there are so many plants onsite, we expect the trees will establish well. Last year we had a terrible season, but the sandy soils in that part of KI meant that the trees survived in spite of the dry conditions, so we’re positive that our forest will soon be thriving.”
Image: Photo point progression of the first WOMADelaide forest near the Coorong and Lower Lakes
The Kangaroo Island site was carefully chosen for its conservation impact, with the Sheoak grove providing habitat and feeding opportunities for the rare Glossy Black Cockatoo, and the Narrow Leaf Mallee conserving KI’s rare endemic vegetation.
"The Kangaroo Island WOMADelaide forest will continue to improve biodiversity outcomes while removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,” Mick said.
Image: Another photo point progression of the first WOMADelaide forest
“It’s estimated that the two WOMADelaide forests combined, will contribute to removing more than 21,650 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere over the next 100-years.”
Mick said it’s also really positive to see that the WOMADelaide community is contributing to the conservation of rare and threatened Australian native species.
“We haven’t done a full survey for a while, but the two WOMADelaide forest plantings have made a noticeable difference to their local ecosystems, with small woodland birds returning, a huge increase in insects and habitat diversity,” he said.
Kelvin Candy (landholder), Mick Durant, and Sophie Thomson (Gardening Australia) at the WOMADelaide forest site for a Gardening Australia segment in 2018.
“I go to WOMADelaide every year – I play guitar in a swing jazz band, so music is really important to me – but what I love more than anything is knowing that my ticket will contribute to something more than just a few fun days in the sun.”
For more information about WOMADelaide’s sustainable practices visit our Green + Global page.
The WOMADelaide forest has so far not been impacted by the bushfires, but the devastating loss of flora and fauna across Australia makes surviving areas of bushland and Greening Australia’s efforts to restore habitat vitally important. When the time is right, Greening Australia stands ready to assist with the national bushfire recovery effort – that is, when local communities and critical assets are safe and the immediate danger has passed. In the meantime, if you would like to support their ongoing ecological restoration work, please donate here.
If you would like to support frontline services, you can find a list here.
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