About 8500 native plants were given to landholders affected by the 2015 Pinery bushfire at the latest landscape recovery plant giveaway.
A further 4500 plants have also been collected as part of the fourth annual event to help repair fire-affected land.
More than 50,000 plants have now been provided to help beautify home gardens and repair farming land by adding windbreaks, shelter belts and paddock trees.
The return of native vegetation is also helping to improve soils and provide shelter for stock and habitat for birds and insects.
The seedlings, along with tree guards and stakes, have been available to anyone who owned or leased property affected by the Pinery fires. They receive a mix of trees and shrubs suited to their landscape, including Eucalyptus, Native pine, Drooping sheoak, Native apricot, Acacia, Melaleuca and Salt bush.
Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges district manager Chris Madigan said about 120 landholders attended the latest event, at Barossa Bushgardens, Nuriootpa on 5 May 2019.
“Other landholders who couldn’t make it have arranged to collect their plants, so we expect to give away close to 13,000 plants this year,” he said.
“We were also interested to see that about one-third of the landholders who registered this year haven’t taken part in the plant giveaway before.
“This could be because they are only now in a position to replant after rebuilding or doing other repairs. Whatever the reason, it’s great to see that the landscape recovery program is having an impact.
“We continue to hear reports about the physical recovery of people’s properties and how that contributes to the overall recovery of the area and the community. It’s also had an emotional impact for people as they see their properties looking better.”
About 90 vouchers for use at the Barossa Bushgardens were given to landholders to purchase garden plants.
Support for the plant distribution is organised by the community-based Landscape Recovery Committee.
Funding for the committee — and for the plants, tree guards and garden vouchers — is from the NRM levy through the Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board.
This is a community-driven project through a partnership with the committee. It also involves Natural Resources Northern and Yorke, Trees for Life and its volunteers, Kersbrook Landcare Group, the Gawler Environment and Heritage Association, the Freeling, Mallala and Nuriootpa primary schools and Nuriootpa High School, Light Regional Council, Conservation Volunteers Australia, Greening Australia and TAFE volunteers.