Lessons Learned from TREAT
Focus is on working with people
TREAT has been extremely successful in its stream corridor restoration, one of its goals is the restoration of wildlife habitat through the establishment of migration routes for endangered marsupials. TREAT (Trees for Evelyn and Atherton Tablelands on the eastern edge of “The Outback”) has also been successful at engaging people in the restoration program by focusing on recruitment, relationship building, recognition and retention.
Specifically, TREAT taps into the variety of motivations of the residents of the Tablelands to achieve restoration results on their own property by conducting a series of workshops that offer training on monitoring, sampling and other things property owners can do to improve the quality of water in streams on their own property.
TREAT matches skills and interests of volunteers with specific restoration tasks by relying on indigenous people to use their technical knowledge of the tropical forest to collect the fruits and design the seed planting mixes. TREAT relies on other volunteers with specific training or experience in cleaning and sowing seeds and caring for the young plants to take on these tasks. Other volunteers are encouraged to use their professional skills or to gain new knowledge to achieve TREAT restoration outcomes.
Much of what TREAT accomplishes is facilitated by the variety of strong partnerships it forges with shire, state and federal agencies and the funding opportunities that these partnerships have opened up. Through newsletter articles and at weekly workdays, TREAT spotlights the knowledge and achievements of each volunteer. (See this earlier post for more information about the TREAT program and its partnerships.)
TREAT showers its volunteers with respect and encourages them to advance through a variety of training workshops, continual evaluation and positive feedback.
All these efforts combine to improve the restoration and enhance the performance and satisfaction of the volunteers and other partners.