SEEDING| Participation in the Mill House Clinic

Over the past months Treecreate has been getting some great support from the Mill House Clinic program.

As part of the program we have worked with a group of marketing postgraduate students from University of Canberra to develop a marketing campaign for Treecreate.

About the Mill House Clinic:

Exclusively servicing social enterprises and Indigenous businesses, The Clinic delivers bespoke professional services in sales, marketing, business development, accounting and small business and not-for-profit law and management.

Our Associates are all enthusiastic and capable University of Canberra students. Mill House Clinic Associate positions are highly sought-after placements at UC. We provide all Associates with professional mentors with relevant industry experience and networks to ensure both high-quality deliverable and a world-class work-integrated learning experience.

We won’t give too much away at this stage but we will be amping up with a campaign in the new year to help to increase awareness of Treecreate and to build our community.

It is really important for us to start to build greater awareness of our work. We are very grateful for the support of the Mill House Clinic, the mentors and the talented cohort of students.

EVENTS | Urban Tree Festival wins

Fantastic news – Urban Tree Festival 2020 wins the Lockdown London Tree Champions award! Congratulations to all the organisers and volunteers ♡

We are very pleased to have played a part in the festival with our founder Tracey giving a report about Canberra’s urban forests as well as presenting a virtual walking tree meditation. Here is the video announcing the winners

Check out the documentation of Tracey’s presentations at the Urban Tree Festival on her personal website: https://traceybenson.com/video/

WELLBEING | Finding Endangered Species

Yesterday the team went to their favourite local playground, the Ginninderry Conversation Corridor (GCC) to help the conservation officers monitor the rare Pink-tailed Legless Lizard. This little critter is also known as the Pink-tailed Worm Lizard or affectionately “Pinky” because they look like an earthworm and have a pinkish tail.

Pink-tailed Worm Lizard “Pinky” © Tracey M Benson 2020

The Pink-tailed Legless Lizard is only found on the Central and Southern Tablelands of eastern Australia. According to NSW Environment, there is a concentration of populations in the Canberra/Queanbeyan Region. Other populations have been recorded near Cooma, Yass, Bathurst, Albury and West Wyalong.

The monitoring activity involved carefully turning over rocks on the hilly slopes of the GCC. The group found a total of 19 lizards for the day with Marty and Tracey finding three each. Over 90 lizards were recorded over the week of monitoring. It was definitely a job needing gloves as all kinds of critters were under rocks – millipedes, centipedes, wolf spiders, skinks, ants nests and scorpions. One of the conservation officers also found a baby brown snake so everyone was very alert and careful. This activity needed mindful presence to stay safe, not just from the bitey critters but also because the terrain was steep and rocky underfoot. There was also an Echidna on the hills happily wandering around. He didn’t seem to be too bothered by the group of curious humans.

At Treecreate the work is more than just attending to the trees. The work is about supporting healthy and vibrant ecosystems, which means helping to understand what other creatures are vulnerable and how to best support their habitats. In this context Treecreate is very much a learning journey that seeks to connect humans with the more-than-human world and to acknowledge that we are part of a generative system that needs attention and care.

It was a a gorgeous day in the capital and the team feel very lucky to consider this region of Canberra their back yard. The Murrumbidgee was flowing well and the Brindabella ranges looked stunning.

WELLBEING | Black Mountain Reserve

Following on from last weekends walk around Nara Peace Park, this weekend the team decided it was time to check in to Black Mountain for tree time.

Despite very chilly weather and a wind chill below zero, Tracey and Marty rugged up to have a look around Black Mountain reserve, spotting some beautiful flowers along the way.

Another wonderful example of the diversity of parkland Canberrans enjoy. Canberra definitely deserves its reputations as the Bush Capital ❤

Do you need some tree time?

WELLBEING | Nara Peace Park

Last week, Tracey and Marty headed to Canberra’s Nara Peace Park for some tree time after a big week.

Located close to the Yarralumla Yacht Club and across the lake from the National Museum of Australia, Canberra Nara Peace Park is located within Lennox Gardens on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. The park has a small Japanese themed garden with some iconic cherry blossom trees amongst the Casuarinas along the lake. It also features two large stone lanterns – a large Kasuga lantern, and a large Yukimi lantern.

The park was officially renamed to Canberra Nara Peace Park in 2010 with the occasion being recognised by the commissioning of a new art work by the Japanese sculptor Shinki Kato – a
8 metre-high pagoda, made of pre-rusted steel plates, a reference to Nara’s famous pagoda, erected in 725 by the Empress Komyoh.

The gardens were a gift from the people of Nara to the people of Canberra and celebrate the sister city link between Canberra, Australia’s modern capital, and Nara, Japan’s ancient capital. Design and construction was carried out by local designers and contractors who consulted closely with the city of Nara and the Embassy of Japan. The park was designed to create the feel of a traditional Japanese garden within the surrounds of a Canberra public park. A distinctive feature of Canberra Nara Peace Park is its “borrowed landscape” or the extension of the park’s boundaries to encompass landmarks such as Lake Burley Griffin, Black Mountain, Mount Ainslie and Lotus Bay.

It was a wonderful afternoon, a chance to breathe, take some time to meditate and enjoy one of the many beautiful parks Canberra has to offer. The team have decided that tree time will be a regular activity in the calendar ❤

Do you need some tree time?

EVENTS | Tree planting at Downer

This afternoon we joined The Climate Factory to plant 500 trees as part of the Downer Micro-forest project. It was a beautiful spring afternoon in the capital and many enthusiastic volunteers turned up to help with the planting.

Thank you Edwina and team for the chance to join in 🙂

EVENTS | Tree Planting at Urambi Hills

On the weekend, Marty and Tracey headed to Kambah to help the Urambi Hills Parkcare group plant some trees. A wonderful group of around 20 volunteers planted 200 trees in a couple of hours. Many hands make light work!

The trees will provide a habitat corridor for birds and other creatures ❤

It was a stunning winter’s day in the capital with the wattle telling us all that Spring is just around the corner.

NEWS | Treecreate joins Mill House Clinic | Beyond Crisis

This week has been a big one for Treecreate.

On Tuesday night, Tracey joined an amazing panel of women as part of the Beyond Crisis Series, organised by the Australian Earth Laws Alliance, The Valley Centre, Future Dreaming, Pingala and the New Economy Network Australia.

Kirsten Larson from the Open Food Network moderated the discussion with Rebecca Scott from STREAT, Gemma Meier, Grong Grong Farmer & Climate campaigner and Tracey Cooper from The Valley Centre.

Beyond Crisis
Speakers – Gemma Meier, Rebecca Scott, Kirsten Larsen (Moderator), Tracey Benson and Tracey Cooper.

The group discussed a wide range of topics including the connectedness of systems, what drives our commitment to our work and the importance of connecting to community and relationships. Here is the info from the program:

This panel will discuss food security, employment, and local renewable energy during times of crisis. Considering the issues facing communities, culture, our health and wellbeing; we are intimately connected with the natural systems of our land. Crisis is challenging these issues to breaking point and there are many stories of great humanity, compassion and action. Our speakers will share inspiring stories of how communities have worked together to respond to food security in our cities during the first COVID19 lock downs and reflect on how strong relationships and community connections are critical to society thriving beyond crisis.

You can still register to view the recordings of the program.

We are also part of the Mill House Clinic program , which is a very exciting next step for our social enterprise journey. This week Tracey and Marty met with Lina from Mill House Ventures and a wonderful team of Associates – student interns from University of Canberra for our kick off meeting. The Clinic delivers bespoke professional services in sales, marketing, business development, accounting and small business and not-for-profit law and management. We are very excited to be working with the Mill House and their talented Associates and look forward to what evolves over the coming weeks.

TREE TALK | Launch

As part of our efforts to increase awareness of the benefits of planting trees and reforestation, we are very pleased to be launching a series of articles under the banner of Tree Talk. These articles will delve into why greening our places is critical to the future wellbeing of all species by focusing on the science that relates to why effective reforestation is critical.  We explore the importance of acknowledging that the earth is a closed system that requires an integrated approach to dealing with the underlying causes putting pressure on our planet.

We have a stack of articles in the pipeline,  ranging from energy efficiency and reducing Urban Heat Islands, to rehydration of land to support ecosystem resilience, to the health and wellbeing benefits to connecting to green spaces.

Look forward to sharing more soon!

Arboretum Collective | Locative Media Summer School

Over the past two weeks, our founder Tracey has been participating in the Locative Media Summer School hosted by King’s College London in collaboration with Supercluster. It was a very inspiring time where the participants worked in teams to create a locative media work using the open source CGeoMap tool. Her team, the Orange Team were an international group of amazing multi-talents including Anne Versailles (BE), Elspeth (Billie) Penfold (UK), Fay Stevens (UK), Hira Sheikh (AU) and Joan Kelly (AU). These diverse alignments seeded rich collaborative process, manifesting as Arboretum. It was such an enriching process that the group has agreed to continue working together as the Arboretum Collective.

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About Arboretum
The Arboretum Collective was established through a collaborative project with the Locative Media Summer School, hosted by King’s College in London in July 2020. The collective brings together artists, social scientists, writers, curators, archaeologists and technologists from Australia, Belgium and the United Kingdom. With a common thread focusing on deep listening, respecting land, time, memory, ancestors and First Nation knowledges, Arboretum produced a number of performance works as part of the summer school as well as developing a geolocated media project featuring soundscapes focusing on place and presence on CGeoMap at https://cgeomap.eu/earthlings/.

Project text
We wish to acknowledge the sovereign peoples of the lands in which we meet and in doing so, honour all Elders, past, present and emerging. We also acknowledge all creatures, human and non-human who inhabit the lands and waters where we live.
Sovereignty never ceded – always was, always will be…

Arboretum is a forest – a forest of trees – imaginary or real – breathing leaves – whispering breath – join the forest – add your tree – as we weave our trees throughout the world – here in the wisdom of murmuring leaves as we receive the solidarity of the forest.

Arboretum sound track
 

Acknowledgements 
Many thanks to the wonderful organisers, Geert Vermeire, Fred Adams, Mike Duggan and Cristina Kiminami for a putting together an incredible and valuable program, rich in content and interaction with a wonderful cohort from around the world.

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