Mossman Botanic Garden puts down roots with Rainforest Rescue!
Rainforest Rescue and Terrain NRM supported Mossman Botanic Garden with an epic community tree planting, setting the stage for a 21st century botanic garden focused on nature-positive, tropical rainforest conservation.
It’s hard to think of a better way to reach a new level of restoration scale than with a community project that will become a world-class ‘gateway to the Daintree’.
In early November, Rainforest Rescue joined together with over 200 people from the surrounding shires as the eagerly awaited Mossman Botanic Garden moved out of embryonic phase into tangible, trees-in-the-ground reality.
The event also marked the 20th anniversary of Terrain NRM, a mainstay of environmental projects in Far North Queensland, who joined with MBG and RR to make the beginnings of the ‘Biggest Little Rainforest’ a great celebration. Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation’s team brought digital innovation to the event, as they shared a virtual reality experience that allowed viewers to immerse themselves in the rainforest and learn about indigenous connections to the land, plants and animals.
After a week of ground prep (hence the image of RR Land Manager Hayden White covered in mud!) and 8 months of careful seed collection, propagation and nurturing of ready-to-plant seedlings, Rainforest Rescue proudly supplied the 4,000 trees that are now growing strong across just shy of a hectare of the MBG site. RR staff were on hand to not only plant and irrigate, but guide the many volunteers to focus their planting enthusiasm. Rainforest Rescue Land Management Team will provide maintenance over the next two years to ensure the success rate of this biodiverse patch of young rainforest is as high as possible.
It is indicative of the growth of Rainforest Rescue’s on-ground team in the Daintree that we can now facilitate not just the number of trees required, but the logistics to prepare the site and the means to support its growth towards maturity.
What do 4,000 newly planted rainforest trees look like? Check out this flyover of Mossman Botanic Garden to see tree planting on an epic scale!
The significance of scale
You may wonder why we’re so excited by the increased scale of our restoration and propagation work.
How about the 75 different native rainforest plant species were put into the Mossman Botanic Garden planting, which is testament to the commitment to biodiversity in our nursery operations? Or, that Marine Deliens, Rainforest Rescue’s Daintree Native Nursery Manager, and the nursery team at our Cow Bay facility, now have the capacity to grow up to 150,000 trees a year to support restoration projects in the Daintree region?
The reforesting of a former sugar cane field at the 20 hectare Botanic Garden site is one of a number of projects in progress in the Douglas Shire, a New Wave of economic activity bringing new prosperity to the area. We previously wrote about a long-term revegetation of over 5 hectares of lowland rainforest and adjacent ecosystems at the Bells Road location, managed by Daintree Life, which marked our first tree sales from the new facility to support local restoration programs.
Both projects demonstrate how the total value of Rainforest Rescue’s support is being channeled into our own restoration and supporting restoration partners through propagation and expertise.
This shift signifies how restoration and propagation have joined conservation as equal actions for the future of rainforest habitat and an emerging economic option for a region where the agricultural mainstay, sugar cane production, is waning, now that the much-subsidised Mossman Sugar Cane Mill is in administration.
We know that the conservation of existing rainforest supports the conservation of wildlife and biodiversity, now we’re able to place more energy on accelerating the connection of former rainforest with protected areas. All of these actions will support the economic welfare of the Wet Tropics.
And, this is just the beginning!
Rainforest Rescue now manages and supports restoration projects in Far North Queensland through its Vertically Integrated Supply Chain methodology.
Vertically Integrated Restoration
Our aim is to partner and provide a full turn-key solution that makes restoration not only beneficial for our environment but economically viable for landowners and accessible to investors.”
Rainforest Rescue’s GM Finance & Operations, Tate Brammer, is keen to share an overview of how our organisation is evolving to provide a complete restoration supply chain, especially in light of the growing ‘Green Economy’ in Far North Queensland.
As Tate explains: “Rainforest Rescue is uniquely positioned to be growing solutions for each step in the restoration cycle or supply chain. From our skilled seed collectors to the amazing world-class nursery through to the dedicated and efficient land restoration team we are recreating forest and habitat. We are focussed on scaling our restoration efforts and powering these with new funding opportunities like carbon credits and the emerging biodiverse and nature capital markets. Our aim is to partner and provide a full turn-key solution that makes restoration not only beneficial for our environment but economically viable for landowners and accessible to investors. We are vertically integrated!”
Being a supporter of Rainforest Rescue means that your generosity is helping to realise the security of habitat and the potential to expand and enrich habitat too. Picture if you will, a network of wildlife corridors and nature refuges emerging, growing and connecting to support the regeneration of species.
There is also a longer-term goal in mind. That of taking direct climate action, at a local level, to contribute to a global solution.
Climate action in the community – Pupils from Mossman State School learn how to plant trees; Delegates and stakeholders from the Wet Tropics Rainforest Alliance (WTMA, Rainforest Rescue, Terrain NRM, Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation) alongside Michael Kerr, Mayor of Douglas Shire, Mossman Botanic Garden board members, and international visitors from Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
Climate action starts at ground level
On our hands and knees in the dirt under a tropical sun, we found ourselves amongst hundreds of willing volunteers carefully placing trees into prepared spots that will give the saplings the best possible chance of reaching maturity and a lifetime of carbon sequestration and habitat provision. It’s the good kind of muddy – a job well done. The conversations we heard as people planted ranged from neighbourhood news to concerns about an upcoming heatwave.
With this chatter, we realise that as a global population, if we are to have any kind of positive impact on the effects of climate change, it will require efforts at ground level as well changes in regulations, compliance and policy.
The tree planting at Mossman Botanic Garden represents a diverse community with a common cause. Journalists, international delegates and conservation impact stakeholders, fundraisers, foundations, businesses, schools, conservation and restoration groups, families, community leaders and indigenous elders all took part in the event.
The potential ripple effect of action in the community like this is powerful.
Maintaining this momentum, creating positive behaviour and attitudinal changes towards our environment and the preciousness of our natural resources, and raising generations of people who are intimately connected to the planet, is vital for our common future.
Perhaps it is pertinent to conclude with a subtle but significant shift that was highlighted in a thank you speech by Terrain’s CEO Stewart Christie – who borrowed Margaret Mead’s maxim: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
The difference now is that the group is growing bigger, and bigger.
The timing really couldn’t be better.
You can read more about the Mossman Botanic Garden planting event through these media stories:
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