Monday, March 28th, 2011 - Trees For Life
The founders of a unique South Australian not-for-profit environmental organisation have won the Earth Hour Lifetime Achievement Award.

Burr Dodd and Lolo Houbein were announced as winners of the category during a national Earth Hour event held in Sydney last night.

A radio program about the impact of deforestation from Men of the Trees Founder Richard St Barbe Baker struck a chord with the couple in 1981, resulting in their observation: “Someone should do something. Maybe this time it should be us.”

St Barbe Baker’s words set in motion a decision by Lolo and Burr to get together a group of like minded individuals who wanted to restore SA’s heavily cleared landscape.

Two weeks later Trees For Life was established as a volunteer initiative.

It has now developed into a significant South Australian conservation organisation, operating with the support of thousands of volunteers growing seedlings and caring for bushland.

From humble beginnings with 15,000 native seedlings grown in 1982, Trees For Life volunteers now grow around 1 million seedlings each year.

It has 10,000 members and 2500 active volunteers and recycles its income from membership fees, donations and fundraising back into running comprehensive revegetation and vegetation protection programs: Tree Scheme, Bush For Life, Seed Collecting, Direct Seeding and Carbon.

This year sees Trees For Life reaching a milestone of 30 million seedlings grown for revegetation. In addition its supporters have funded 575,000 trees to absorb carbon, commissioned direct seeding into 1,300 hectares of cleared land and are undertaking restoration works on 4000 hectares of native bushland.
Currently celebrating its 30th anniversary, Trees For Life's primary objective has always been to reintroduce native plants to degraded areas, caring for remaining scrub and reinvigorating cleared land.

“Members propagate the plants they know need to be planted, they do the heavy work to distribute materials, they care for the bush that needs protecting, they collect the seed that will preserve the species, they allocate space on their land for native habitat, they fund the work that they know is important,” TFL Chief Executive Officer Carmel Dundon said.

“The passion and dedication of members and volunteers is what makes Trees For Life so unique.”

Despite getting on in years, Burr Dodd and Lolo Houbein are still a youthful and vibrant couple who remain active in environmental action. In fact Lolo recently wrote the very successful book One Magic Square - a guide to growing your own food.

Burr and Lolo will always embody the essence of Trees For Life – the idea that if you really want to see something changed you have to do something about it yourself.

Footnote: As its 30th anniversary gift to South Australia, Trees For Life has just launched a remarkable community driven revegetation program – the Trees For Towns initiative which will see 30,000 native trees and shrubs planted across 30 local, rural and remote communities across South Australia. For more information on Trees For Life please visit our website:

Contact Profile

Trees For Life

Trees For Life is a South Australian based not-for-profit environmental organisation. TFL was established in 1991 and now has more than 10,000 members. Its aim is to revegetate South Australia and protect its remnant vegetation.
Tania Kearney
P: 08 8406 0500
M: 0439404612


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