Quest to plant 75,000 trees

Locals brought bush to the beach with the planting of over 2,000 trees at Umina Beach on April 21.

Community members teamed up with Council staff to help plant the trees which were gifted by Greater Bank in celebration of their 75-year anniversary.

Central Coast Council Unit manager, Environmental Management, Luke Sulkowski, said the project would assist with restoration efforts and benefit locals.

“The 2,000 trees, shrubs and grasses being planted today will assist in restoring and maintaining a healthy ecosystem along the Umina Beach stretch of Central Coast’s Peninsula area,” Sulkowski said.

“Looking at the bigger picture, this planting project will help restore what has been lost across the region’s coastline in recent years as we’ve seen the destruction caused by severe storms and damaging king tides.

“I want to thank Greater Bank’s management and staff for their commitment to the preservation of our natural environment.

The financial institution launched its campaign last August with the aim of planting 75,000 trees across its area of operations.

A total of 10,150 trees were earmarked for the Coast, with 4,500 allocated to Dunecare projects at Umina, Ettalong, Patonga, Wamberal, Forresters Beach and Macmasters Beach.

Tony Winch, a volunteer from Umina Community Group said the support from Council and Greater Bank has been ‘tremendous’.

“It is uplifting to have local companies coming onsite to work alongside us and to also donate their funds,” Winch said.

“These 10,000 plants have all been grown in Council’s nursery at Erina, with local provenance seeds and cutting material.

“The stock has been produced by Council staff with assistance from volunteers in the seed collecting group and volunteers from the nursery group.”

The plantings across the Umina dunes included Coastal Wattles, Pig Face, Lomandra, Scaevola, Banksias, Pelargonium and Tea Trees.

This mix was meant to resemble the typical ecosystems found originally along the beach and help to support local wildlife, as well as assist in protecting the beach from coastal erosion.

Also attending the launch, Greater Bank Regional Sales Manager, Josh Swetnam, said the tree planting project helps ensure their vision complements local habitats.

“We chose to plant 75,000 trees because protecting and nurturing the environment is something that we know that customers right across our areas of operations, including here on the Central Coast, are passionate about,” Swetnam said.

“As these 10,150 trees grow, they will not only enhance the local environment but also provide an enduring symbol of our commitment to social responsibility and sustained support of local communities.”

The project will continue to be rolled out across the Coast over the next three months.

Maisy Rae