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PLANT A TREE IN MEMORY OF STEVE
News Source: Sunshine Coast Daily (12th November 2007)
by Alan Lander
Click image to enlarge

IT'S the perfect way to remember the Coast's Wildlife Warrior Steve Irwin - and his best mate, Wes Mannion, hopes it will start a green revolution across Australia.

Mr Mannion yesterday backed the Sunshine Coast Daily's "Plant a Tree For Steve" campaign - your chance to help kick off the festivities for Steve Irwin Day on November 15.

Thanks to the support of three Coast nurseries - Barung Landcare in Maleny, Fairhill Nursery in Ninderry and Coolum Community Native Nursery - Coast families can plant a native tree in memory of Steve.

Wes thinks it could lead to something even bigger - a goal of planting a million native trees a year.

He encouraged as many people as possible to take up the offer of free trees and pay a practical tribute to our Wildlife Warrior.

"We have 260,000 people on the Coast, four million in Queensland, and 20 million in Australia," he said. "It's one little thing - and only takes five minutes of your time.

"If we each planted a tree, what a difference (there would be) overnight," he said.

Mr Mannion did his bit, planting his first tree yesterday, as part of the lead-up to the inaugural Steve Irwin Day.

The event is intended to be a celebration of the wildlife legend's life and work.

And preparations are well underway for the big day.

"It's coming together pretty well," Mr Mannion said.

"We have re-done the front entrance (to the zoo), and we will have a special presentation for that.

"Bindi (Irwin) will be singing two new songs, Olivia Newton-John and Jimmy Barnes will also be performing, and Terri (Irwin) will be book-signing.

"You can't get more Australian than that."

And while golf balls and water are no strangers to each other for some weekend hackers, they form a more unusual union, for the inaugural Steve Irwin Classic.

"This is different - it's surfing one day, golfing the next," Mr Mannion said.

"You can put up two teams if you want, if some of you don't surf, or (some don't) play golf.

He admitted he's no great shakes at either.

Mr Mannion encouraged every visitor to wear khaki on the day - and they will get 10% off at the gate if they do.

"That's the uniform for the great backyard campout we are having," he said.

Mr Mannion said the emphasis on all events will be families, including the backyard campout. It would allow family and friends to spend time together while raising money for a great cause.

For details of how to collect your free native tree - see Page 110.

STEVE IRWIN DAY
Thursday, November 15

  • At 10am Terri Irwin will conduct a special unveiling in the zoo of a tribute to Steve. This will become a special part of the zoo for years to come.
  • The Crocoseum will be transformed into the Rockoseum with huge acts performed throughout the day, including Bindi Irwin and the Crocmen, Olivia Newton-John and Jimmy Barnes.
  • Terri will launch her new book, My Steve and conduct book signings from 1pm.
  • Australia Zoo is asking people from around the world to don their khakis in remembering Steve and raising money for wildlife conservation. So if you don your khakis you will receive 10% off your entry fee at Australia Zoo and a free khaki wristband.
  • You will also be eligible to enter the Khaki Catwalk fashion parade. Khaki Catwalk will be judged by Bindi. There will be two age categories, 12 and under and 12 and over.
  • Australia Zoo will have its very own beach, with a huge crocodile sand sculpture, sand sculpture workshops and a visit from the surf lifesavers.

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