Trees For Life began in 1981, when Lolo Houbein and Burr Dodd gathered some friends to coordinate a visit to South Australia by Richard St. Barbe Baker, founder of the international environmental organisation Men of the Trees.
Such was the interest in his message, the hall used for his address on 9 September 1981 was bursting at the seams. The SA branch of Men of the Trees was formed just weeks later on 30 September, with over 200 people attending.
Two years later, the group changed its name to Trees For Life.
The organisation was founded on the principle that if you want something to change you have to take action yourself to make it happen. The impetus for establishing Trees For Life was the evidence and obvious consequence of extensive clearing of the South Australian bush. Soil in South Australia was virtually being blown or washed away because there was very little vegetation left to hold it.
Trees For Life came up with a simple response: volunteers would grow native plants to give to farmers willing to plant them.
The first tree was planted on One Tree Hill in 1982, but over 30 million trees, shrubs and grasses followed, forming wind breaks, providing erosion control, creating new forests and buffers for the few remaining stands of original vegetation.
Since then our work has extended into bushcare to protect and conserve valuable remnant vegetation and broadacre revegetation, to help re-establish habitat and to act as long term carbon sinks.
Our aim has never deviated from the original vision to reinstate stands of native vegetation across South Australia and to improve the resilience of the remaining original vegetation. We do this through on ground works by our supporters and staff.
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