Landowners Karl and Racheal Russo with their daughters Wilma and Florence who’ll watch the trees grow as they get older. N023418

BASS Coast Landcare Network, with the support of the community, is turning cleared hill country at Glen Forbes back to its original glory.
Karl and Rachael Russo bought the property a few years back with the goal of recreating a damp forest/cool temperate rainforest environment which was once present in the Strzelecki hills.
They’ve been working with the Landcare network’s Dave Bateman to make it a reality.
Around 150 Year 9 students from Wonthaggi Secondary College rolled up their sleeves to lend a hand on Friday.
This year, 30,000 trees will go in the ground.
“This planting will plant out a further 11ha of the Russo farm, which had 25,000 plants planted the same time last year,” Dave said.
“We had the Wonthaggi Rotary Club stationed at the Woolamai Racecourse cooking 450 sausages and 200 hamburgers ready for the kids once they had planted roughly 80 plants each.
“We backed this planting up the next day with the Gippsland Intrepid Landcare team who planted a further 10,000 plants on the Saturday followed by a dinner and dance party.
“Gippsland Intrepid Landcare is a great bunch of young 18 to 35-year-old environmentally aware people.
“Just to finish off the last 4000 of the 30,000 plants the Bass Coast Landcare Network will be holding a partnership planting day with the Bass Coast Shire Council to get the final plants in the ground.
“All of this fantastic work has been made possible through a partnership project between the Australian Federal Government’s 20 Million Trees program and the Bass Coast Shire Council’s Biolinks revegetation budget.”
To get involved in future Landcare projects on your farm or as a planting volunteer contact Dave Bateman at