The Seedling Bank is Planet Ark’s nature restoration grants initiative. The program provides funding for schools and community groups to plant seedlings in their local area and work on environmental projects that will have a positive environmental and community impact.
Meet some of the beneficiaries who have been working hard to transform their communities. If you’re inspired by their stories, we invite you to apply for a grant – applications are open until 24 February. Planting events do not need to take place on National Tree Day, we support events all year round.
The Friends of Lake Claremont
The Friends of Lake Claremont (FOLC) were the first grant recipients of Planet Ark’s Seedling Bank in 2019. Lake Claremont is a seasonal lake covering approximately 70 hectares, supporting a diverse range of flora and fauna. Since European settlement, the area was degraded with farming and grazing, then used as a rubbish tip and a golf course. The FOLC have been restoring the wetland since 1987, bringing native wildlife back to this inner-city biodiversity hotspot. The Seedling Bank has supported the regeneration project with funding for over 2,000 native seedlings. Quendas, also known as southern brown bandicoots (Isoodon fusciventer), are one of the many species benefiting from the increase in plant diversity and shrubby habitat in the area. FOLC volunteers have been working with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) and the local council to relocate quendas to Lake Claremont – a sanctuary for this native marsupial.
Over 80,000 seedlings have been planted by Brett Krause and his team of dedicated forest builders since 2016. Planet Ark’s Seedling Bank has provided funding for over 2,500 seedlings in the last three years. Brett builds forests using the Miyawaki method of afforestation, a technique for vegetating previously unforested areas of land in a short period of time. They are also known as ‘microforests’ or ‘tiny’ forests because they can be planted on land as small as a few parking spots. He planted the nation’s first Miyawaki forest in the Cassowary Coast region of Tropical North Queensland. Brett and his team of volunteers have created habitat for endangered and threatened species including the Southern Cassowary and Mahogany Glider.
Warrawong High School
Last year, Warrawong High School received funding to expand the school’s gardens, create new bee habitat and revegetate the area connected to a large urban permaculture farm. The students cleared plastic and rubbish to make room for subtropical rainforest trees, shrubs and grasses. The Seedling Bank supported the project with funding for 450 seedlings. Plants provide important opportunities for cross cultural learning at Warrawong High, where 55 per cent of students come from non-English speaking backgrounds. Maria Schettino, the Intensive English Centre teacher involved in the regeneration project describes the garden as a place to heal, connect and grow, with spontaneous singing often heard floating up from the garden.