National Tree Day 2023 was celebrated in Kongwak on Sat 29 July with a gesture of “love” directed toward the Kongwak Pioneer Reserve.
The “love” was in form of a community tree planting event hosted by Kongwak Hills Landcare Group, part of their "Love your Reserve" Community project which aims to engage the Kongwak community in restoring the declining health of the 41ha patch of significant remnant vegetation back to a place of self-sustainability.
A total of 2100 indigenous tubestock funded by Planet Ark’s Seedling Bank and supplied by Wonthaggi Seed Bank & Nursery were planted and guarded by 45 volunteers.
Included were Kongwak locals and “lovers”, members from the neighbouring Korumburra Landcare Group and South Gippsland Shire Council Environmental Department’s Chris Rankin and Eric Neville.
Sarah, a former teacher at Kongwak Primary School returned to the Reserve on the planting day. It’s a special place where she spent many visits with the school children alongside resident artist and cultural educator at the school in 2021 Cassie Leatham - a talented Taungurung and Dja Dja Wurrung woman of the Kulin nation, who shared her indigenous culture, stories and bushtukka knowledge on these visits.
Let’s hope the love given by its community today, continues the legacy of our Kongwak Pioneer Reserve for future community members to appreciate, experience and carry forward.
Project funded by the South Gippsland Shire Council 2023 Community Grants Program and Planet Ark’s Seedling Bank.