Planting roots for our future

By John Lewis

Planting trees is a good way to regenerate the landscape and at the same grow our sense of community.

Sunday's National Tree Day was a chance for Shepparton families and children to get down to earth and ensure our city maintains its clean and green reputation for healthy produce and lifestyle.

While our region is known as an agricultural powerhouse - our foodbowl has come at a cost.

Over the years, clearing of native vegetation and changes in land management have meant a degradation of our soils, our waterways and of course a serious loss of native trees.

Today, our natural bushland is restricted to river corridors and roadsides, and along with this comes a loss in the numbers of birds, insects and other wildlife which depends.

So it is encouraging to see our council, along with other municipalities across Australia, provide the means for people to contribute to the regeneration of our city landscape.

There have, of course, been other community-driven projects aimed at keeping our natural environment and bushland healthy.

The Crouching Emu Revegetation Project was a council-managed plan driven by the Tatura community which over six years from 2006 to 2012, established an environmental corridor for native plants along Dhurringile Rd.

Other initiatives such as the Boulevard Bushland Reserve, a similar one at Dookie, Tatura's Cussen Park and Shepparton's Victoria Park Lake have all benefited from investment in our natural assets.

As Sunday's tree-planting session demonstrates, people are only too willing to volunteer time and energy when it comes to ensuring a healthy environmental future.

We would also encourage conservation-minded people to mark August 12 in their diaries.

That date is when the film 2040 will be shown at Village Cinemas in Shepparton, and provides a chance to see what the rest of the world is doing when it comes to preserving the environment.

 In 2040, filmmaker Damon Gameau, concerned at the future his young daughter faces,   travels the world in search of new approaches and solutions to global warming.

It may seem an impossibly large challenge, but planting a tree is a start.