Reigniting the spark to plant.

Thinking global, working local, very local.

Reigniting the spark to plant.

Thinking global, working local, very local.

Community Participation -


The issue

In an era of good intentions held by time-poor people, how does Landcare engage people to put in the 'hard yards' when it comes to caring for their environment?

In Orange, in Central West NSW, we have many new housing sub-divisions being built on the edge of the city. Town planners have made the developers leave some old-growth trees but in the drainage easements there are few new plantings. This means the new developments often look very stark.

We decided to work with council to get the new homeowners in these estates involved in planting trees.

The solution

We approached Orange City Council who agreed it was a good idea and they provided the mulch, the tree guards and the stakes. Cyril Smith, a CTLC committee member, provided trees and inspired the local residents to get involved.

We aimed to use this planting as a pilot to gauge ongoing interest in the activity so we made the event small in scale, with only a relatively small number of trees planted and residents only having to give up a small amount of time.

We completed all the requisite forms and completed a localised mail drop. We chose the date...and then we changed the date - we figured no-one would want to plant in the snow!

The impact

The nominated day was cold, frosty and foggy but blue skies were forecast.

We started with 2 committee members attending but as the sun burned off the fog our numbers swelled to 6. We worked out a routine of digging, planting, staking and then we all mulched around the plantings.

We planted out 25 trees in two hours and all participants still had time to do their usual Saturday afternoon tasks, content in the knowledge that they had made a contribution to beautifying their neighbourhood.

We even had an article in the local paper.


This event, which was a trial, was successful. We intend to do more of these as time, Covid and weather permits.

Key facts

  • People are time poor.
  • Short, sharp events which don't take up a lot of time are achievable for most people.
  • Local councils are happy to help local people work at a micro level.
  • Good weather makes for a good event.

Project Partners