Native trees help Woodburn residents put down roots again

Susanna Freymark

“This is this tree we planted after the floods.”

That’s the symbolism Elizabeth Johnstone is hoping for in offering Woodburn residents native trees for their gardens.

The Northern Rivers Flood Action Group received a grant from Richmond Valley Council to buy the trees. The group applied for $5000 and received $2500.

Elizabeth is part of the group and has a vested interest in seeing Woodburn grow and thrive.

She owns the Woodburn Arcade and has seen business owners working hard to recover from the floods.

“I bought the arcade when the highway finished,” Elizabeth said. “I painted the arcade and ran the laundromat.”

Then the floods of 2022 came.

Giving a native tree to every resident who wants one, helps make sure people don’t feel forgotten, she said.

“Wouldn’t it be nice to have a tree growing in the garden as people come back to their homes?”

Elizabeth has her eye on landscaping and improving the garden around Woodburn Memorial Hall too.

The short film Tinnie Heroes has raised $1800 towards that project through donations at film screenings.

The vision of the flood action group is to green the area, provide summer shade, encourage birds and help us grow to a strong future.

If you live in or near Woodburn and you’d like a native tree, call Kylie on 0404 067 797 or go to the Northern Rivers Flood Action Group Facebook page.

Woodburn in the clean up after the floods. Photo: Paul Stanley-Jones
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