A Trees For Life project to introduce new immigrants to the Australian environment will officially be launched in Murray Bridge on January 24.
The ‘Stepping Stones into Nature’ project, funded by the South Australian Murray Darling Basin Natural Resources Management (SAMDB NRM) Board, aims to introduce new Australians to nature at their own pace through a series of safe and friendly activities.
As well as helping them connect with the local community and helping with a sense of belonging, connecting people with nature is also now known to have significant and wide-ranging health benefits.
According to a report prepared by population experts ID for the Murray Bridge council, immigration is playing a big part in the city’s population growth, with almost half of Murray Bridge's overseas-born residents having been here 10 years or less.
The ‘Stepping Stones into Nature’ activities will include nature nights and guided walks in parks around Murray Bridge discussing local plants and animals.
Hands-on activities in native bushland will also be held, one of which will focus on improving the habitat of the nationally vulnerable Silver Daisy (Olearia pannosa ssp pannosa), which has important populations in the region.
Trees For Life will officially launch the project in conjunction with the Murray River Splash festival at Sturt Reserve, starting with children’s activities, ‘bush tucker’ tastings and a special bat information night with experts from the Eastern Hills & Murray Plains Catchment Group.
Future activities will be held locally from February through to June.
Trees For Life has four coordinators based in the SAMDB region, overseeing 57 Bush For Life sites across approximately 2350ha and supporting around 130 volunteers.
The Stepping Stones Project has previously been trialled in the Adelaide metropolitan area, with successful outcomes.