Woodfordia’s other festival, The Planting
100,000-strong trees a proud symbol of The Planting Festival
Posted on 10.05.2019
From barren paddock to a flourishing forest, the transformation of the Woodford Folk Festival site in Queensland has been a labour of love for a group of volunteers who call themselves the Woodford Treehuggers.
In 1994, the growing folk festival moved from its original home in Maleny to newly purchased land at Woodford.
The land was so degraded it was hard to find a shady spot to camp over the hot Christmas-New Year festival period.
So volunteers banded together to plant trees.
Today, the 500-acre former dairy farm now known as Woodfordia is unrecognisable from those early days with its tall, established forest and carefully-planned habitat supporting hundreds of wildlife species.
When we shifted from Maleny to Woodford we had a big tribe of people supporting us, so we came up with this idea of asking people to sponsor a tree for $5.
And we then had this idea of a tree planting weekend in May, festival director Bill Hauritz said.
The revegetation of Woodfordia is one of Australia’s longest, continuously-running community greening projects, and since its first planting weekend in 1997 has evolved into its own fully-fledged mini-festival appropriately named The Planting.
Such was the passion of the festival community, people were also prepared to pay for the privilege of planting the trees over that weekend.
“It was just wonderful to see that spirit happening,” Mr Hauritz said.
“We [festival organisers] got a lot of confidence from that because we felt at the time we were stronger than what we knew — as a community.
“So we’d have 300–400 people doing tree planting sessions in the morning and afternoon on Saturday and Sunday. Then we’d party at night.”
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