Dig for wildlife habitat

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Get involved: Dutch Thunder Wildlife Shelter is hosting a Community Tree Planting Day on its Koonoomoo property on July 31. Photo by Megan Fisher

Dutch Thunder Wildlife Rescue is hosting a community tree planting day at their refuge property in Koonoomoo on Sunday, July 31, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The event is open to all and will be followed by a barbecue and a bush walk with koala watching.

Kylee Donkers, Dutch Thunder operator and event organizer, said anyone could come and plant a range of trees, grasses and shrubs that would eventually benefit the animals in and around the shelter.

“We are gently releasing a lot of animals onto the property, which involves opening up their enclosures until they come out and regenerate,” she said, adding that they hope to return the area bare paddock they planted in a natural bush state. .

“(They) will use all these trees as habitat, (this) will give a protected area before moving into the (wider) parks.”

Ms Donkers said once the vegetation to be planted was mature, the shelter could also use it to put together branches of plant material to feed the animals, mimicking what they might find in the wild.

“We go out and collect all these things and bring them back to make them look as natural as possible…it’s so they get used to discovering things in nature,” she said.

“In the future we hope that if we need fresh branches we can go to the paddock rather than driving out and bringing it back.”

Planet Ark’s Seedling Bank provided the group with a grant to purchase 1,000 native seedlings from nearby suppliers.

The Moira Shire Council also donated tree guards and stakes needed for the event, alongside Babcon Plant Hire and the Animal Rescue Collective who both donated to hire a post hole digger to pre-dig before the trees are planted.

Interested persons should pre-register on https://treeday.planetark.org/site/10026347 and are encouraged to wear sturdy shoes and hats. Further information will be distributed by email to registrants prior to the event.

Although equipment like shovels and gloves can be borrowed, participants are encouraged to bring their own gloves and other supplies if they have them.

Dutch Thunder will also be holding tree planting events with schools and child care centers between July 25-29 for National School Tree Planting Week, and are also looking for a club or service group to organize a barbecue on community planting day.

For more information about signing up a school or daycare for a tree planting session, or to talk about providing a barbecue as a service group, contact Kylee at [email protected] or 0417 560 910.

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