MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Kelvin Wykes, Fitzroy Basin Association project officer Cassandra Bouna and Rob Squires holding seeds that will be planted in the Mt Etna National Park.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Kelvin Wykes, Fitzroy Basin Association project officer Cassandra Bouna and Rob Squires holding seeds that will be planted in the Mt Etna National Park. Madeline Mcdonald

Mt Etna National Park gets green facelift

CASSANDRA Bouna has her heart set on rehabilitating Mt Etna National Park, one tiny tree at a time.

The Fitzroy Basin Association project officer is leading a team of local volunteers who will plant 6000 trees in the Mt Etna National Park in the coming months as part of a new rehabilitation project that will improve the conditions and extent of habitat for threatened plant and animal species in the area.

Cassandra said the tree planting would start in October.

"At this stage, the team and I are collecting seeds for the project which we will take back to a local nursery and grow, then return to the site for planting," she said.

"The purpose is to plant at least 6000 native dry rainforest species to create a green buffer between the adjacent dry rainforest, to prevent fire entry and to create some more habitats for the local species like the bats, flying foxes and fruit doves. This habitat will eventually benefit and support these animals once it's matured.

"These projects are critical for our ecosystem; this particular site is quite degraded and has a lot of weeds, which increases the flammability of the area.

"We've got a number of volunteers who have experience in seed collecting and planting but we'll also be having local school children from The Caves Primary School to plant some trees and learn about the importance of looking after the environment."

The tree planting project will finish in June 2017 when the trees will be at a self-sufficient level.



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