Saturday started as so many do in the Adelaide Hills this time of the year. Winter was reminding us that even though we have had a few really nice ‘Spring is coming’ days recently, Winter still holds sway over the weather for just a little longer.

The clouds were lingering not far above our heads and jacket hoods were pulled up around our ears to ward off the fine mist that threatened to develop into something a little heavier.

But none of this deterred the intrepid gang of volunteers gathered along the small creek out the back of Birdwood High School, rubber boots, gloves and happy enthusiasm firmly in place. Nothing was going to deter them from assisting High School staffer and Conservation Park ranger Lynton Vonow plant one hundred and fifty native grasses into the shallow, boggy ground dotted fallen logs that passed for a small creek flowing beneath remnant trees.

With a routine developed over many years of replanting, small plugs of earth, just big enough to take the small tube stock were being removed by one volunteer who was then followed by others who slid plants out of square pots and deftly dropped them into the prepared hole before gently firming the earth around it and moving on to the next hole. With happy banter, news was being shared and plants quickly settled into their new homes.

Nothing deterred the volunteer’s enthusiasm, not the wet muddy location, the gentle rain or weary backs.

In no time time at all, they had planted the one-hundred rushes and sedges along with fifty Wallaby Grasses that had been provided by the Kersbrook Landcare Nursery.

Now there was time to enjoy the beauty of the Birdwood Hight School’s Conservation Park around them and the adjacent fenced Riparian Zone (the space between land being used and a river or stream). This is a favourite area for  the Upper River Torrens Landcare Group who use it to show how good land management and revegetation can greatly improve the chances of native flora such as Callitris, Acacia and Allocasuarina reclaim their natural habitats.

The park also has a small resident population of Brush-tailed bettongs and Long-nosed potoroos, who are actively burying leaves and sticks as they dig for truffles, bulbs and grubs. This is creating dozens of mini fire-breaks – cleared patches – across the landscape, which would reduce the intensity of any bushfire, aiding their, our and the bushland’s survival.