Swim, bike, run and…plant a tree. You may not have heard of this addition to the standard triathlon but in fact every participant in the Noosa Tri donates to the Trees for Tourism project, a partnership of Noosa & District Landcare and Tourism Noosa.
I have been killing weeds and planting trees in Noosa Shire for the last 22 years. I enjoyed living and working in Brisbane growing up, but now I reckon the best view of Brisbane is in the rear-view mirror! Noosa is a tourist town, and this generates dollars and employment for locals. The key, in my view, is to accommodate our tourists, whilst maintaining the magic of our natural environment; for our tourists and also our locals.
Trees for Tourism sprouted in 2019 and is part of Tourism Noosa’s sustainability sponsorship agreement for events held in Noosa – this is in addition to event organisers having to meet key benchmarks in energy, water and waste management.
A portion of the ticket sales from every event is allocated to Trees for Tourism and – as the song goes – “from little things big things grow”. Since its inception 5,283 trees have been purchased with tree plantings across the Shire, and in particular on the Noosa Trail Network, revegetating several areas of the trail to provide shade trees for walkers, assist with erosion and improve the habitat for local koalas and create wildlife corridors.
Events supporting Trees for Tourism include: Great Noosa Country Trail Walk, Noosa Classic, Noosa Enduro, Noosa Festival of Surfing, Noosa Eat and Drink Festival, Noosa Open Studios, Noosa Summer Swim, Noosa Triathlon, Noosa Alive, Noosa Ultraman, Sunshine Coast Comedy Festival, and Wild Women Adventure Race.
To date donations from events have reached $42,264 with more from operators including Grill’d Noosa, Queensland Tourism Industry Council, various resorts, Tourism Noosa members and visitors donating at the Noosa Information Centre.
This isn’t an official carbon-offset program but it’s estimated that one tree planted from Trees for Tourism on average will sequester 124 kg of CO2 over its lifetime (to give you an idea of what that means, an average car produces approximately 180kg of CO2 per 100km). So Trees for Tourism’s 5,000+ trees will remove approximately 655 tonnes of C02!
Back to the Noosa Tri; you’ve seen the bikes stacked up in the Transition area and soon you will see the forests growing too. I am very pleased that so many of our businesses are voluntarily putting back into the environment. I would like to particularly thank Peppers Noosa Resort and Spa…the first business to give back, and they’re still doing so today.
Go for a drive up Black Pinch Rd to the Lookout – Twin Hills, and see the trees already thriving.
Working in partnership with Tourism Noosa and our businesses, Noosa Landcare hopes to enhance the outdoor experience for locals and tourists alike.