In 2016 Tracey met Dr Sandra Tuszynska (Mycologist) (Fungal Biologist) when she came to speak at a Creative Recycling Centre Event. Tracey was intrigued and inspired by how passionate Sandra was about the magic of fungi and how fungi can restore damaged ecosystems.
Tracey already had a great working relationship with Linda Fahle the Central Queensland Manger for Conservation Volunteers Australia and began a discussion about the benefits of a possible project to bring Dr Sandra and her Myco Restoration concept to the Gladstone Region. Tracey and CVA worked together and successfully obtained funding from Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership to support the project.
The Myco-Restoration Project’s aim was to engage the community in an innovative environmental water project, contributing towards citizen science education, community engagement, long-term monitoring and trend analysis techniques, methods and benefits of using fungal mycelium for Myco-restoration.
The Project saw volunteers growing fungi on recycled and donated products like cardboard, mulch, pallets, hessian, woodchip and even coffee grounds. These myco-technologies were placed on the banks of the creek to ease soil erosion, suppress weeds and decontaminate polluted soil and water - a process called myco-restoration.
This project was a one reef project. One reef is focused on mobilizing community to make a tangible and practical on ground difference – their focus is on conserving the Great Barrier Reef, through on ground catchment, waterway and wetland restoration, to improve water quality and ecosystem function in key catchments flowing into the reef.
Linda Fahle Conservation Volunteers Australia engaged with Tracey Smith in the development and delivery of the Gladstone Myco -Restoration Citizen Science project in 2017. Using her extensive community networks and project development experience, Tracey created a unique, conservation based, hands on project with information sessions and on site workshops delivered to not only the general community but also local government members and other regional environmental groups. The promotion, participant rate from the community and project environmental outcomes of this project were highly successful due to Tracey’s ability to connect with other community groups and inspire people to get involved and make a tangible difference to our local waterways . We look forward to working with Tracey again and fully support future community conservation projects that Tracey develops.