In the 1990s DancePlant began helping farmers in the Wagga Wagga region replant native vegetation to counter ecological problems like dryland salinity. On planting weekends the community group holds dance parties on farms to celebrate the revegetation work and to have fun. One of the participants, April Sharman, designed a celebratory t-shirt which has been worn at many planting weekends by Graham Strong. 'DANCEPLANT: Regeneration, Community, Celebration', the t-shirt reads.
'There are cycles, the cycle of people 30 years ago ringbarking vast stretches of land. Now these groups of people going out and planting trees, trying to figure out the things that have been destroyed so that we can maybe reclaim some of the past. But I don't think anyone intends to recreate the past exactly. They're building something new.' DancePlant participant.
'Most farmers are a bit freaked out at first when they see us ferals rock up on their place. But by the end of the weekend everybody's getting along.' DancePlant participant.
'I think when you're out in the paddock and you're planting the trees it's like you're connecting with the earth. To be taken out of working at a desk during the day and going and planting a tree and thinking this is going to grow, hopefully, and be as big as these other trees. It's the interaction with the earth, and then you come and you dance.' DancePlant participant.