Green Corps team graduates after completing work on Tumut trail

Nine Greens Corps members will graduate tomorrow (22 February) after completing six-month’s work on a recreational trail in Tumut State Forest.

Federal Member for Farrer, Sussan Ley, will be presenting the graduates with their certificates at the Tumut State Forest car park, Sarah Jeffrey's Reserve, at 10.30 am.

It is Green Corps first project in the region and involved work on the construction of r ecreational trails catering for walkers and mountain bike riders, beginning at Sarah Jeffery's Reserve and continuing up into Tumut State Forest, in three different loops covering more than seven kilometres.

Green Corps team leader Rick Hargreaves said the aim of the project was to give young people from the Tumut community the opportunity to participate in rehabilitating degraded areas of forest and constructing outdoor recreational facilities.

“Through the project participants have been provided with formal training, skills and experience that will assist them personally and professionally in their future careers,” he said.

Green Corps is a youth development and training program designed to give young Australian's experience in environmental management. 

The program is Federally funded through the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations and managed by Job Futures and Greening Australia.

Auswide Projects is a member of Job Futures and has more than 10 years' experience in labour market programs, youth focused programs and is a Registered Training Organisation.

Auswide Projects together with Forestry Corporation jointly developed and implemented the Tumut State Forest Recreational Trails and Rehabilitation project.

Mr Brian Ahern from Auswide Projects said Forestry Corporation staff should be commended for their thorough support, not only through resources, but also the assistance readily given to the two team leaders and the participants on this project.

Forestry Corporation planning forester Paul Kelly said during the past six months the Tumut Green Corps team had tirelessly constructed recreational trails, controlled weeds, planted trees, and assisted other land management agencies such as the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and the Landcare nursery in a diverse range of projects.

“The team have removed countless noxious and environmental weeds such as blackberry, privet, hawthorn and sweet briar from along the trail and other problem areas across the forest.

“Numerous trailer loads of illegally dumped rubbish have also been removed and the team has been active in discouraging locals from continuing this practice.

“To revegetate degraded areas of forest the Green Corps team has worked with the local Landcare group to plant more than 200 native trees, some of which are now thriving alongside the Mundowie Loop, to assist closure of an illegally created and highly eroded vehicle track.”

Mr Kelly said other trees have been planted along the Tumut River to stabilise the bank as a part of Landcare's Wetlands Rehabilitation Project.

Green Corps teamed up with the NPWS on several occasions to undertake blackberry control at locations such as Yarrangobilly, Cabramurra and Currango.

Mr Hargreaves said overall the group had thoroughly enjoyed working for Green Corps and completing the project.

“For the team it has been a fabulous educational adventure. We leave behind a great community recreational facility while taking with us many fun and memorable experiences,” he said.

Mr Kelly said the team leaders and the team have been outstanding in their achievements.

“We thank team leaders Rick Hargreaves and Amanda Bland and the graduates on behalf of all the stakeholders and congratulate them on an excellent job,” he said.

Media contact: Paul Kelly on (02) 6947 3911.