Growing a perfect world with the National Folk Festival

Every Easter, over 50,000 people from across Australia flock to Canberra to celebrate ‘5 days in a perfect world’ at the National Folk Festival. In 2016, a partnership between Greening Australia and festival organisers was formed to expand this perfect world beyond the event by contributing to revegetation projects in the local region.

Initially formed to celebrate the 50th National Folk Festival by planting 50 Trees for 50 Festivals, the partnership is now working to build on last year’s success to enable more trees to be planted to improve biodiversity and create habitat for threatened species in the Greater Goorooyarroo area. This landscape contains some of the largest, best-connected and floristically diverse Box-Gum Woodlands in Australia.

Money raised during the 2016 festival was used to plant over 650 native trees and shrubs on a property near Sutton, NSW, not far from the festival site. The landholder has been working with Greening Australia for over a decade, fencing and revegetating sensitive areas along rivers and forested hills to create wildlife corridors.

The work forms part of Greening Australia’s Bridging the Gaps project, which funds small projects that often miss out on larger funding opportunities.

Raising awareness also forms an important component of the partnership with the festival providing an opportunity for Greening Australia to showcase its community based revegetation initiatives. 

“Greening Australia held a series of workshops during the 2017 festival giving participants the opportunity to get their hands dirty and acquire new skills and knowledge from our project officers, such as how to propagate native plants and indigenous plant uses. Raising awareness at these types of events is critical to achieving our vision of healthy, productive landscapes where people and nature thrive,” says Project Officer, Catherine Ross.

“Greening Australia and the National Folk Festival have a lot of shared interests in protecting our unique environment and community. The partnership is a real win-win for the local community and nature – it allows the festival to offset some of its impacts while supporting our valuable restoration work.”

 “We are looking forward to growing our partnership into the future. Thanks to the National Folk Festival, volunteers and the community, and we hope to see you at the festival next year!”