National Tree Day draws a crowd

People dig deep for the environment

We're trying to revegetate the area to how it was before the train and mining. - Garry Long

HEATHCOTE residents beautified the O'Keefe Rail Trail by planting 3000 indigenous trees there on Sunday.

The event was organised by the City of Greater Bendigo as part of National Tree Day and more than 50 people attended.

City of Greater Bendigo senior environment officer Andrew Sheean said the site, near Heathcote Primary School, was chosen because the area had a lack of greenery.

“We chose that site because the area out there was devoid of any trees and we wanted to get some trees planted along the edge of the trail to beautify it," he said.

"Part of the project is to create habitat for wildlife and birds as well."

Mr Sheean said trees were planted on about one hectare's worth of land and the project was organised in partnership with the Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail.

Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail convener Garry Long said people used rail trails for bike riding and walking and the trees and wildlife would be appreciated by the greater Heathcote community.

"Part of the appeal of rail trails is creating the environment that was once there," Mr Long said.

"We're trying to revegetate the area to how it was before the train and mining. 

“It seemed a natural fit to enhance the area for rail trail users, the local school and the community.”

Both Mr Sheean and Mr Long said the day went well, with many families taking part in tree planting activities.

Participants enjoyed a barbecue hosted by the Heathcote Lions Club and children painted a banner, which is hanging on the site, Mr Sheean said.

"We always get good numbers - it's very much a family day," he said.

National Tree Day is a Planet Ark initiative, which involves councils, schools and community groups planting trees across Australia. More than 20 million seedlings have been planted since the campaign began in 1996.

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