As we arrived at the planting site on the cool morning of April 22, the Misty Mountain Nature Refuge proved true to its name - barely visible beneath a curtain of dense fog.
But neither cold nor fog could stop the volunteers from arriving for the community tree planting event at Millaa Millaa in Far North Queensland.
With site preparation already completed, the only thing left to do was fill the holes in the ground.
Ellen - one of the day's top tree planters
Our wonderful Rainforest Rangers for the day - volunteers from across the region, from the Wet Tropics Restoration Alliance, and TREAT (Trees for the Everton and Atherton Tablelands) - happily made short work of the planting with 1,000 trees in the ground in less than two hours.
Jarrah plants another tree!
Just in time for the fog to lift, revealing a new landscape dotted with fresh saplings.
Over time planting will occur on a landscape scale
An important mission
The newest 1,000 trees will complement plantings carried out at neighbouring plots in the last two years, as part of the larger project to restore Cloud Forest in the Atherton Tablelands.
These rainforests provide habitat for much loved, iconic, and threatened species including the Southern Cassowary and Golden Bowerbird.
Some of these species, namely the Lumholtz's tree-kangaroo, Lemuroid Ringtail Possum and Green Ringtail Possum, are restricted to the cooler parts of the Atherton Tablelands and other higher areas of the Wet Tropics, making them vulnerable to climate change.
The Misty Mountain Nature Refuge is owned and managed by our project partner South Endeavour Trust. Together we are working to protect and expand the habitat for these high-altitude mammals which are threatened by climate change.
Lumholtz's tree-kangaroo - Photo by Steven Nowakowski
Historical clearing of the rainforest on the Atherton Tablelands has also resulted in the ecosystem being broken up into small fragments, creating challenges for wildlife to travel across the landscape.
Please join us in restoring cloud forests in the Atherton Tablelands. There are an additional 10,900 trees yet to be planted. The 17,000 trees already planted also need to be maintained to ensure they survive and thrive. We need to raise a total of $175,675. Please join us and donate now.
Thank you to our donors and volunteers
A huge thank you to our project donors and volunteers who became Rainforest Rangers for the day, especially our volunteers from TREAT who helped plant the trees and also provided a wonderful morning tea.
We were also joined on the day by the Wet Tropics Restoration Alliance, a coalition of organisations working together to help secure the future of the world’s oldest continuously surviving tropical rainforest, and to build the ecological, social, cultural and financial resilience of the Wet Tropics region.
A TREAT volunteer planting one more tree.