It was something we had meant to do for quite some time--and now we finally got around to it. Early one afternoon, we walked down to a nearby park to join in with the community project we had walked past and noticed so many times.

A small group of volunteers met monthly to regenerate an area of bushland that had been overrun with weeds, rubbish and public use. In their place, the community members were replanting native trees and shrubs, grown from seeds collected in nearby bush areas. The area stretched along the riverbank, was bisected by a muchused bikeway and also included a small island in the river, separated by just a few metres of water but providing a potential sanctuary for regrowing bushland.

Most of the hard work had been done for us. Previous volunteers-- and some of those with whom we worked that afternoon--had cleared the rampaging weeds, and collected and disposed of the many items of rubbish that seem to collect in areas that are regularly used by the public but are poorly maintained.

So the area we worked on that afternoon--just a small part of the larger project area--was ready for planting. With a small group of other volunteers, we dug holes in the sandy riverside soil, carefully planted the seedling trees and refilled the holes. Then we carried bucket after bucket of water from the river, soaking the soil around the new trees.

As we worked hard, the afternoon sped by. As the sun settled toward the horizon, 200 new trees were beginning to make their contribution to this reborn bushland.

Being a warm afternoon, we sweated and this mixed with the dirt we had been working with. We had spent a couple of hours working with some fellow community members committed to enhancing the environment in which we all live. We had blisters to remind us of We didn't change the world but we played a small part in restoring and caring for a piece of it. The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and care for it. Genesis 2:15. Nathan Brown is editor at Signs Publishing Company and lives in Warburton, Victoria.