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“There’s something about the Barrington Tops and Aussie Ark that makes manual labour far more enjoyable!” So says Jo Ferguson, community relations co-ordinator at AGL Australia.

In October, 120 AGL employees worked over three weeks to complete a massive effort.

Jo said Aussie Ark was just in the backyard for AGL and many employees, so a relationship had been happening between the Ark and AGL for about six years.

“Our latest push involved planting 6000 trees with the goal to re-establish a diverse midstory within the sanctuary that can offer essential ecosystem functions,” she said.

“This will help in developing a more robust base of food sources within the sanctuary and will have multiple species of flora flowering all year round to provide a more resilient ecosystem and hopefully increase capacity and animal welfare.

“Watching this incredible sanctuary grow over the years and the success the team has had particularly with their Tasmanian devil breeding program and Eastern Quolls, we wanted to be a part of the amazing work they do.”

Jo said by the time the latest project had finished, teams had completed all the tree planting, fencing, brush cutting and even had time to pressure-wash the building, assemble a three-piece kitchen barbecue and tidy up the area all ready for when they get busy with tours in the holidays.

Since the program begam, more than 300 AGL employees have taken a company-paid volunteer day to help Aussie Ark.

“It’s a bit of a tough job for people who aren’t into mud and leeches, but there was healthy rivalry between the teams and they love working in the beautiful surrounds, “Jo said.

“Many of our employees, spurred on by their working experience, have taken their families up to the Aussie Ark on holiday to show other friends and family what the conservation project is achieving.

“Over the next month, our teams will be meeting with Aussie Ark leaders to have a look at other ways AGL can help. Our team leaders may look at things such as fitting out workshops and using our trade skills to add to the project,” she said.

Aussie Ark was established in 2011 as “Devil Ark”, with a focus on saving the iconic Tasmanian devil from extinction.

Since then and due to overwhelming success, the role of the organisation has expanded, and now has vision of creating a long-term future for our threatened Australian species.

Tours and cottage stays are available all year round. Go to aussieark.org.au for further information.

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