National Tree Day in July 2014 presented a perfect opportunity for 68 volunteers from Corowa District Landcare to go to work alongside Linley Park, opposite Kyffin’s Reserve Mulwala.
A few months earlier, a tornado had ripped through many areas, including Denison County Park and next door Kyffin’s Reserve, as well as in between the two entrances to Kyffin’s Reserve on both sides of Spring Drive.
A huge coverage of the damage, including upturned caravans in Denison County, appeared in the Yarrawonga Chronicle at the time.
The tornado decimated Kyffin’s Reserve vegetation, along with roadside vegetation and fencing, and created a build-up of rubbish strewn alongside roadsides.
Not long after, landcare chairperson at the time, Bronwyn Thomas of Mulwala, attended a women’s workshop in Holbrook.
“Five of us went as delegates and we were to give something back to the community upon our return,” recently elected councillor with Federation Council, Bronwyn Thomas told the Yarrawonga Chronicle.
Cr Thomas immediately thought of a big roadside revegetation project for the upcoming National Tree Day, starting near the Linley Park entrance and extending 2.4kms to opposite the Denison County entrance, and co-ordinated the project.
“The 68 volunteers were divided into three working groups because of logistics, a busy road, aged demographics, plant and equipment and OH&S requirements of the then Corowa Shire Council,” she said.
“There was 2.4kms of fencing down and debris, a lot of pre site preparation by the Donaldson family (Linley Park) fire brigades from Mulwala and Corowa, and districts cleared fallen timber and provided water for 840 new native Pacific plants, soup was donated by Mulwala Public School P & C, and sandwiches were brought out by the Mulwala Bakery. It was a big day.”
Spring Drive motorists and walkers, joggers or cycle riders in Kyffin’s Reserve can’t help but notice the bright yellow and maroon colours alongside Linley Park.
The 840 plants include four types of wattles, hop-bush, she-oaks and bull-oaks, and create a colourful and variety roadside landscape.
“ ‘Gee, it looks fantastic’, “ people say, Cr Thomas, who has been a landcare member, including the role of chairperson, for nine years of the 21-year-old landcare group relayed. “I’m very, very pleased with the progress of this project. It’s all part of the recovery process from the horrific event of 2013.
“It brought people together, younger people including children, older people, and achieved a great result. There was so much generous support from so many people and Corowa Shire Council staff.”
Bronwyn’s opinion was shared by one of those big day workers, former Corowa Shire councillor Joan Palmer who was recently elected as chairperson at the AGM.
“It was a wonderful opportunity for people to come together to do something tangible, which has a lasting legacy,” Joan said.
“We remember the bad things but this revegetation is a living, breathing, living and sustainable project.”