August VW

Monday, August 31, 2015

 As part of the internship program Griffith Uni students were out in full force recently at Wild Mountains during our first VW since May when our ISV program kicked off for the winter.

11 students, many from overseas, came up and were introduced to lantana learning about its history and impact on the Australian bush before getting down, dirty and intimate with this most intimidating of weeds. Yet like most who get into it, one sees quickly the impression that a gang of wild things can make on a patch of lantana.

We weeded along the northern side of Camp Creek as part of our Camp Creek Headwaters Renewal Project till lunch before watering a few hundred trees higher up on the south side in new ex-lantana clearings among the rainforest.

On Sunday we worked on the other side of the ridge fixing up our fire trail which has now been named for the first time… heading north from the campsite is the Whiptail Track which ends up at none other than Whiptail, while heading south the Sunset Track arrives back on the road at Bert’s Hut. We decided (like developers who name something after the very thing they have destroyed) to name it Bert’s Hut in honour of the 50 year old hut that stood in the copse of trees beside the road and finally fell apart and before removal by our first ISV team this year.

We look forward to the Griffith crew returning in October to complete their course and getting lots done.

Thanks heaps guys.


Extra from Brandon~

Inspiring. Educating. Conserving. 

Never in my life have I truly embraced these three words, until my journey unfolded with Wild Mountains. From the moment I pulled up to the breath taking few of the mountains and valleys I knew that this trip was well worth the 9,500 miles flown all the way from New York City.

Wild Mountains allowed me to step outside my city-boy comfort zone and immerse myself into some of the nature in Queensland, Australia. In only two days I was able to discover the importance of restoring the environment. By clearing the land of the pesky Lantana I developed a sense of pride, knowing that my efforts will be providing the opportunity for other trees and plants to grow and reach their full potential. Additionally, I had the chance to maintain one of the fire trails in Rathdowney. Together, my team and I did a lot of cutting, digging and heavy lifting to make sure that the fire trail was safe and walkable for the future. In the process we found a beautiful python in which we couldn’t resist taking a picture.

Aside from the physical component, volunteering at Wild Mountains really allowed me to open my eyes to the importance of conserving. The ways we consumed electricity, cleaned up, and deposited our garbage were very useful tactics. Needless to say, now that I have been back home I make it a point to keep the lights off for as long as I can, recycle and use minimal water as possible. But more importantly, I am encouraging all my friends and housemates to do the same. This is what Wild Mountains is all about, inspiring, educating, and conserving so that when they influence one person, that person can go on and influence the rest of the world. 

If there is one thing I have taken away it is that reaching world peace can be done together by protecting and maintaining our planet. We live on a planet that consists of many different cultures, ideas and views, but we still share that one thing in common: Earth.

“Reconnecting nature to nurture our Earth.” Thank you Wild Mountains—I can’t wait to come back!

 ~Brandon Lee