Planting futures


One last biggest tree planting for me, (from left: Jesse Kenny, the ultimate partner to make this stuff happen, and then me).

If I could sum up my hobby it would be planting futures. I used to collect spoons (not kidding), then it was rocks (still kind of do that), and soon enough it was community projects that blend design, community and sustainability. I am a Landcare junkie and for a good reason because I get to plant futures.

This coming weekend marks what I am hoping to be my last major local on the ground, hands getting dirty kind of Landcare projects that I drive. I have been engrained into the grooves of driving local Landcare projects for 10 years and goodness knows how many plants have been planted. This weekend will be another 15,000 plants!

Gold Coast Biggest Tree Planting Day is happening for the 3rd-official year and will take the project planting quota to 42,000 plants. Get this, 42,000 plants have been planted in 4-days by the community. It has been a profound, pivotal project for me to co-found, support and drive when needed. It’s almost an addictive project because of the immediate impact, like planting 15,000 plants in one day. I caught myself asking my ‘partner in lime’ (Jesse), I wonder what will happen next year… I hope someone picks up this project and drives it. Because I know my time is expiring as my attention is needed elsewhere- that being Intrepid Landcare and my PhD, and some higher-level influence for change.

Don’t get me wrong, I do intend on staying involved to some degree, however, not on the ground and among the grassroots of it all – sometimes I would like to be spectator and not be up at old hours at night doing the finishing touches on some incredible projects. Right?

What I really want to drive next is more strategic investment pitches and capacity building stuff to build the backend of the local Landcare network. Work on the what is missing stuff. I would really like to spend time developing a social-environmental impact report card that I have had in development for way too long. I would like to see our local Landcare network communicate our impact more effectively to seek the political and corporate investment needed to fund the real environmental projects we could be doing.

Why? Because I’m a scientist in the mind, and a cultural researcher at heart, and we need to blend these disciplines to ignite the cultural change we need for the future of Gold Coast’s environment. And because I am not a protest kind of person, and would rather spend my time developing systems and relationships that foster the landscape transformation we have been slowly, and purposefully working on.

And perhaps, I could get some papers published in the meantime to make my supervisors happy for all what I do in my other life and that being Landcare.

Planting futures is the best hobby anyone could have.

Hope to see you at Gold Coast Biggest Tree Planting Day, Sunday 16th October at Country Paradise Parklands (231 Nerang-Beaudesert Rd, Nerang). Starts at 8am with free yoga and live music from 9am.

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