Earth Day 2021: A Celebration of Action For Nature

This Earth Day we’re celebrating those choosing to restore balance to the world around them through the daily actions they take.

And Renata and Don from the Araucaria Wildlife Sanctuary are a true cause for celebration. 

For the past 10 years, they’ve taken one step further by dedicating their lives to bringing back balance to the land they live on and caring for both the wildlife currently calling that land home – as well as the future generations that will create new homes from the trees they’re now planting. 

Alongside her partner Don, Renata decided to quit her job 10 years ago to become a fulltime wildlife carer, because she knew how much of a need there was to provide a home for injured animals. This was the seed that grew into the Araucaria Wildlife Sanctuary (named after the magnificent Araucaria Pines scattered around the property) those years ago. These days, they have around 15-20 animals at any one time, from Wallabies and Pademelons to Gliders, Possums and Bandicoots. It’s no surprise they’re now busier than ever, with many of these being baby marsupials who need 6-7 feeds per day. That’s not a lot of time to schedule a tea break! 

Renata and Don have been in boots-and-all for the natural world around them since they first purchased their property 25 years ago. Initially, being 80% cow paddock and open pasture, they saw potential to improve the ecosystem of the new land they now called home. 

We’ve both always been very committed to the environment and see ourselves as having a responsibility to give back and leave our place in a better condition than it was originally. We wanted something we could enhance and improve, rather than somewhere that was already forested. Somewhere that we could make a difference to the land. 

Their ultimate vision? Building the ecosystems to support wildlife now and in the future. 

“The trees we’ve planted in the past are now big enough that we’re putting nest habitat boxes up and the gliders that we’re releasing are moving into those nest habitat boxes. Our goal is to keep planting and building the habitat here as much as we can to keep caring for the wildlife released back into the environment out here. 

With a wonderful community around them, Renata and Don are inspired by other landholders around them starting to do tree planting and land care.  

“We feel like the energy builds when one person starts looking after their land, focusing on wildlife and native flora, it can be contagious! We like to think that we’re also inspiring other people around us to do the same” Renata adds with a laugh. 

Inspiring is almost an understatement with their level of dedication to caring for the world around them.  

To assist with growing their local ecosystem, as a part of an NRMA Insurance funded project, Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) supported Renata and Don with 1,000 trees and dedicated volunteers who planted a total of 800+ of those trees across their property over two days. With soggy terrain and muddy boots, 10 volunteers helped to tackle the big planting required to create future homes for wildlife in the area.  

“It covered an enormous area that would have taken us so long to do by ourselves! It’s always really inspiring to see that there are other people who are willing to help. It was just lots of fun, Kelly and Shae are incredible – and there were lots of conversations and sharing of stories and ideas! 

It’s all been such a great experience – even with how rainy and boggy it’s been! But we didn’t have to water in the trees which is a real time saver, so we shouldn’t complain. 

Renata adds that they’ll finish planting the leftover trees, as soon as the creeks no longer flooded. 

Are you inspired this Earth Day, and ready to restore balance to the world around you? Check out how you can be involved with one of our volunteer opportunities around the country!

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Wild Futures