Wednesday, September 7th, 2011
When Trees For Life started in South Australia 30 years ago, its founders travelled around the State in a campervan promoting the revegetation cause.

That year – 1981 - 200 people were recruited as volunteers to grow 3000 native seedlings.

Since then nearly 60,000 landholders have ordered seedlings through TFL, more than 30 million seedlings have been grown for landholders and revegetation projects across the State and 44,058 volunteers have grown TFL seedlings.

And while they are impressive figures, Trees For Life is again looking for Adelaide volunteers to grow native seedlings this summer.

Through the award-winning Tree Scheme, volunteers are asked to grow and care for the seedlings for landholders and revegetation projects in South Australia.

The Tree Scheme operates by annual seedling orders being taken for landholders, councils, government projects and private enterprise, with Trees For Life then linking up orders with volunteer growers.

TFL provides all the propagation materials – seed varieties, tubes, boxes, soil and mulch – free to volunteers, along with easy-to-follow instructions. Once sown and raised, volunteers then hand over their seedlings for planting in the winter months.

The seedlings provide food and habitat for our native wildlife, and help counteract some of South Australia’s Greenhouse gas emissions.

Each year volunteers raise hundreds of thousands of seedlings in a bid to help continue to revegetate SA, and with the community’s support, Trees For Life is again hoping to reach this target.

Those interested in volunteering don’t need to have a green thumb – it’s a perfect way for people to do something positive to help our environment, it’s free and it’s a feel-good experience!

People interested in becoming a volunteer grower can phone the office on 8406 0500 or log onto the Trees For Life website:

Contact Profile

Trees For Life

Trees For Life celebrates 30 years of environmental action in SA

Trees For Life is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

Trees For Life is one of South Australia’s most successful and respected not for profit environmental organisations. It was established to revegetate South Australia and protect its remnant vegetation. It does this by providing training and assistance to people who want to be able to do something practical to fix the environment. As a consequence, Trees For Life has grown to be one of the largest volunteer revegetation and bushland protection organisations of its type in the world and has been recognised through Australia’s premier environmental awards.

Working on the principle that if you want something done you need to take practical action yourself TFL focuses the energy and goodwill of volunteers with the financial assistance of members, donors, corporate sponsors, government and business partners.

The organisation was established in 1981 by a group of concerned citizens now boasts around 10,000 members incorporating volunteer growers and bushcarers, landholders and farmers.

The commercial value of our volunteer bushcare effort alone is $1 million pr annum.

With some areas of South Australia reduced to only 5% of its original native plant cover the task is enormous. Trees For Life pursues its revegetation targets through three programs: the Tree Scheme, Trees For Life Carbon and a Direct Seeding program. To support the revegetation programs TFL stocks and manages an extensive seedbank featuring seed sourced from across the whole state and stored by provenance zone.

TFL’s conservation work is achieved through its Bush For Life program.

Program details:
The Tree Scheme links city volunteers with country landholders in a highly productive partnership. City volunteers propagate and grow native seedlings to a rural landholder’s order over summer and hands them over for planting in autumn. This unique partnership has not only resulted in 29 million local native seedlings grown to revegetate cleared land but has also created lasting friendships and understanding between the city and the bush. To date 41,940 growers have participated – each giving six months of their time to help improve the rural economy through revegetation.

Our Direct Seeding program tackles revegetation head on with broadscale sowing on native seed aimed to help replicate cleared vegetation systems. This technique has been successfully applied in major projects through Monarto Zoo and the River Murray Forest initiative as well as on private land across the Murray Darling Basin and the Fleurieu Peninsula. The large quantity of seed required for broadscale revegetation is collected with the assistance of a network of volunteers helping to provide one of the most comprehensive and diverse seedbanks in Australia.

Trees For Life Carbon attracts funding from business and individuals to plant local native forests protected from clearance for 30- 100 years.

To address our conservation aims, TFL has developed a specialised bushcare program Bush For Life.
Through this program trained and supported volunteers take responsibility to care for a specific high value bush site over a sustained period. Currently 700 volunteers are taking part, some having cared for the same site for over 15 years.
More than 95% of BFL sites have a regionally threatened species which could be extinct in the next 20-100 years without assistance and intervention.

Trees For Life statistics over the years:

No. trees grown through all programs: 30,203,954
Total No. landholders that have used our services: 50, 932
Total No. volunteer growers: 41,940
No. seedlings grown for landholders: 27,678,260
Total seedlings grown (for landholders + reveg projects): 29,127,080
No. plants grown through Direct Seeding method: 1,076,874
Seedbank stock currently on hand: 1354kg
Hectares of bushland under Bush For Life management: 3500
No. Bush For Life sites: 350
No. Bush For Life volunteers: 700
No. Bush Action Team volunteer hours: 23,306
Tonnes Co2 offset over the life of Carbon plantings: estimated at 53,300 tonnes CO2e
No. trees grown: 339,085

Awards over the years:
2008: Banksia Foundation Environmental Award + finalist in UN Awards
2006: Banksia Foundation Award winner
2005: Landcare SA finalist; finalist in Prime Minister’s Environmentalist of the Year; The Advertiser’s Pride of Australia Medal; Banksia Foundation winner, UN Environmental Award winner
2001: Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Community Business Partnerships
1995: Landcare Nature Conservation Award
1991: Landcare SA – Community Landcare Group

Trees For Life’s 30th anniversary will focus on showing the wider community just what our members and volunteers have achieved over the years.

Our first event is a fundraiser-Open Day at Government House on Sunday, April 3.

Trees For Life will showcase its programs and achievements over the years in a country fair-style atmosphere within the grounds. All members of the public are welcome to attend.

For more information log onto
Tania Kearney
P: (08) 8406 0500


trees, South Australia, environment, Adelaide, grow, seedlings, revegetation, conservation, farmers, landholders, people, volunteers, State, help, biodiversity, habitat, species, indigenous



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