Update from The Crossing: ISV Australia’s long time project partner

by on Wednesday, 21 November 2012

ISV participant Jen, talking surveys at The Crossing © all photographs used with permission by The Crossing & ISV

ISV has a history of some long and successful volunteer program partnerships in Australia. ISV first partnered in 2004 with The Crossing, located near the small seaside town of Bermagui on the stunning Wilderness Coast of New South Wales.  Since then nearly 200 ISV participants have contributed to the vision of the Crossing which is “to involve young people in positive environmental projects, inspiring them to conserve.” One of the reasons ISV chooses to support this project is because volunteering at The Crossing is a true experience in sustainability. How you eat, use energy, water, the accommodations you sleep in, the forest that surrounds you and much more, are all a lesson in how people can live more sustainably. In addition, our teams have helped with vital Koala habitat research and protection in the local areas. This is critical as Koalas are now considered a vulnerable species with over half the population threatened by habitat loss and urban expansion, as well as vehicle strikes, dog attacks and disease.Our Australian office has recently been in touch with Dean and Annette Turner from The Crossing to discuss our 2013 programs. In the process, I asked them to write a short blog to update and share with our alumni that have volunteered there in the past, and if you’re thinking of volunteering in Australia, read along to learn a bit more about the variety of things we do for conservation in this incredible country.

ISV participants at long time ISV project partner, The Crossing

“Hi from The Crossing to past ISV crew …..We’ve planted 6500 native trees that koalas like along the Bermagui River to help link coastal national parks on each side of us and control erosion.  Your habitat survey work has helped create the largest tree database in Australia which is now being used by honors and masters students!

This year we are starting to see expansion of koala territories for the first time and the population estimate for the south coast koalas has gone from 50 five years ago to almost 150 now. 

ISV volunteers have helped significantly with building the infrastructure at the Crossing

Chris Allen has been grinning lately as we have found some sites with up to 7 of the 30 trees active!  Some new areas are now “no-go” for logging because of the koala territories you have helped us find.  One of the newest things we helped prove with night cameras last year is that koalas eat bark as well as gum leaves – the story made the national press! The commercial kitchen, community hall and roofed outdoor classroom are finished – the gardens are producing more food closer to the hall.  The chickens have a new home above the hall with a composting system leading back into the garden.  The train carriage has passion fruit growing all over it. 

Our trainee Sam, is now finished his schooling and has won the state school based trainee of the year – the first time a conservation management trainee has won!  Our staff member of the last two years – Erik, is in NZ and will be back here near the end of 2013 for a visit. Lastly we just want to say thanks and honor your conservation efforts here in Australia – the ripples you started are getting bigger!”

Dean and Annette Turner from The Crossing Land Education Trust.

Thank you Dean and Annette for this update  We really look forward to another fantastic year of programs together! To learn more about ISV’s programs in Australia and other destination countries, visit our website at www.isvolunteers.org.

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