Have you ever had that epiphany where you realise that you got into conservation science because you love nature, yet you can’t remember the last time that you actually set foot in a forest? If this sounds like you, our lab has the perfect solution – roll up your sleeves and get active with local conservation groups who are working on the ground to conserve nature.
We recently teamed up with Moore Park Bush Care and the Australian Conservation Society to undertake some re-vegetation in Indooroopilly. Upon arrival we were introduced to the leader of the local Bush Care group, Des, and instructed on how to effectively apply bug spray to fend off the midges (apparently you only need to spray around your mid-riff and ankles). We were then introduced to a patch of forest that Des and his crew have dedicated over 15 years of their lives to. We were very impressed!
Des gave a quick introduction and then he split us up into groups. The lucky ones got to lay down the seeds of native plants, while the rest of us either raked or pulled weeds. Within half an hour the members of our lab were distinguishable from the rest of the volunteers by our blisters. Apparently typing doesn’t break the hands in quite like good old manual labour!
I was quite happy to be in one of the weeding groups. Our victim was the mother-of- millions, which - as the name insinuates - is a weed that pops up everywhere! We had to go over the same square meter of patch several times before moving on because every time we looked we would find more of the little buggers. Luckily they were easy to pull out and dispose of and the time passed quickly due to the interesting conversation between the diverse group of volunteers.
Our hard work was rewarded with a vegetarian lunch provided by ACF and a Des’s delicious home-made ginger juice. The overall consensus on the day? A lot of fun and a well- deserved and overdue break from studying / working. It’s really rewarding to get active in the local community and work together to relish in our common interest – nature.