The Landcare Society planted trees in 2002, which have grown up nicely

Tree-planting weekend anyone? Landcare Society celebrates 20yrs

8 May 2017

To mark the 20th birthday of our Landcare Society - which has run almost as long as Landcare itself – students organised a trip away to tackle a major project. The key criteria? Caring about the land – and having fun!

This year marks an incredible milestone as we celebrate 20 years of Landcare at the University of Sydney.
The University of Sydney's Landcare Society planting 1600 trees.

The University of Sydney's Landcare Society planting 1600 trees in 2006. Credit: Kristina Kaida

Volunteer members of the University of Sydney’s Landcare Society have just completed their annual tree planting trip to Arthursleigh – the university’s sheep property a few hours' drive from Sydney in the Southern Tablelands. 

The student-led group started back in 1997 under the guidance of Professor Lester Burgess, the former Dean of Agriculture, and the trip to Arthursleigh has been running ever since. 

Environmental Systems students and members of the Landcare Society, Annabel White and James Deng, worked on this large-scale project that has been operating almost as long as Landcare’s existence.

“It’s a really wonderful experience and provides a great opportunity to meet with like-minded people and contribute to some really important remediation projects that make a substantial difference to the area,” Annabel said.  

James said volunteering with the Landcare Society was "fantastic" for people wanting to make an active difference and learn more about the importance of natural systems.

"It’s a lot of fun getting to know students from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines of study, whilst actively partaking in beneficial carbon sequestration activities,” James said.

There are two major projects that students are involved with at Arthursleigh. Gully stabilisation and the creation of wildlife corridors are continually identified as critical environmental priorities on this property.  

To mark two decades of caring for our land and water, the Landcare Society focused on gully stabilisation to fend off erosion during their trip at the weekend.

Arthursleigh has been transformed in the past two decades, and the biggest success over this long-term remediation project has been the planting of 2000 trees over two years to create a critical wildlife corridor. The impact has been significant and the corridor is important for native animals, providing critical habitat for their safe passage and survival.

The projects at Arthursleigh, and the society's work more broadly, create special learning environments for students who are interested in pursuing careers in environmental rehabilitation – or who just want to get outdoors and… Landcare!

The Landcare Society consists of about 30 students and conducts many other tree planting activities throughout the year.

All projects are student-identified. In the past few years, the group has travelled to the Northern Beaches, Camden and Georges River and has trekked as far as Cowra.

Landcare is Australia’s biggest volunteer environmental movement and the grassroots community projects emanating from the movement have been making a difference since 1989. There are about 5400 community groups registered on the Landcare Australia online directory.

It’s National Volunteer Week from 8-14 May 2017 and Landcare is just one of the many ways our students are offering their help.

Vivienne Reiner

PhD Candidate and Casual Academic
  • Integrated Sustainability Analysis,

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