July 26, 2020

Planting aplenty for National Tree Day

PHCC - Karnup 1
Ross Rose from the Shire of Murray and Ruth Cripps from Greening Australia assist with the Jeegarnyeejip Island plantings. Photos by Jesse Collins.

Despite the ongoing impact of COVID-19, this year’s National Tree Day will still see thousands of seedlings planted across the Serpentine, Murray and Harvey rivers as part of the Three Rivers, One Estuary initiative funded by Alcoa Foundation.

While official community planting events for National Tree Day on 2 August have largely been cancelled due to COVID-19, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council and Greening Australia remain on track to get more than 27,000 seedlings in the ground with the support from Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation. 

The plantings – being conducted by the organisations’ staff, contractors and a limited number of volunteers – are aimed at helping improve the health of these three important waterways along with the Peel Harvey Estuary that they feed.   Peel-Harvey Catchment Council has focused its efforts this year along the Serpentine River, near the intersection of Karnup Road and the Kwinana Freeway.

It has conducted 5.7 hectares of weed control, planted 11,320 native groundcover, shrubs and tree seedlings, and installed 860 metres of fencing to provide habitat for native animals, extend the connectivity of vegetation along the river and improve the water quality of the river itself.

Greening Australia is planting nearly 16,000 seedlings across a broad area stretching from Federation Park and Lowlands along the Serpentine River, South Yunderup and Jeegarnyeejip Island along the Murray River, and Tognela, Bristol Road and Bancell Road along the Harvey River.

In addition, Birdlife Australia is planting another 12,500 seedlings in the Karnup, Coolup, Waroona and Yarloop areas as part of the Alcoa Community Black-Cockatoo Recovery Project. These plantings are also funded by the Alcoa Foundation and aim to provide habitat and food for the endangered and threatened species. 

Alcoa Corporate Affairs Director Jodie Read thanked the three organisations for the important work they do in protecting and enhancing the local environment.

“We appreciate it is privilege to operate our bauxite mines and alumina refineries in such a beautiful part of the world and are committed to doing our part to help protect and enhance the environment,” Ms Read said.