VALE MARK SANDSTROM

Afoot & light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose...

Walt Whitman  from ‘Song of the Open Road’

 

Mark Sandstrom was a man of many parts to many people, but to those of us who worked with him over the years at Greening Australia – he was the leader of an idea that came to be known as ‘the Dorrigo Farm Forestry Project’.   And reflecting on this part of the man we knew, this part which was a large part of his life, this part which we shared, the overwhelming image that remains is of a pioneer –  one with a grin and always a story to tell.

To pioneer is to open the way– and the Dorrigo Farm Forestry Project has the distinction of achieving this.The idea of planting of new forests on land around the plateau; in order that timber might still be a part of the life on the Don Dorrigo into the future, in order that we might learn & experience & value it all the more, in order that we might change the landscape as it looks & the way we live within it. All intentional or not, it has happened.

And with this came others with ideas. Landcare followed, as did other projects & momentum gained. The legacy of his enthusiasm is a nursery for the people of Dorrigo as they continue to plant trees, a changing Dorrigo landscape of trees moving skywards - and most important of all, a willing community of people who will be taking this idea further down the road.

We miss his frenetic pace, boundless enthusiasm, caustic wit & laconic humour – it was a wicked combination.

Julie Woodroffe, on behalf of staff – both past & present – at Greening Australia

Mark (left) with some of the GA staff at the Dorrigo Nursery – & trees growing in the background – March 2000

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