How would you like a National Park 40 minutes from your front door?

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This post was originally written for, and appears on, the Loving Earth blog.

The Great Forest National Park or GFNP is a campaign is to get the forests and parks that stretch from Kinglake through to the Baw Baws and up to Eildon declared as a National Park.

GFNP has its own logo and lots of supporters, so you’d be forgiven for thinking that the National Park already exists, but it doesn’t yet!

By declaring the forests as a National Park, it will create a vibrant tourist destination for anyone who visits the area. It will also protect it from logging which is heavily impacting the ecosystems that we rely on for our main source of water.

Did you know that 90% of Melbourne’s fresh water comes from the Mountain Ash forests a little over an hour away from the CBD?

The aim is to help preserve these forests that already exist so the native wildlife can thrive and the trees don’t end up as paper for your printer.

These forests grow all along the Great Divide because of the rich rainfall patterns and has meant that they are some of the most carbon dense forests on the earth – something that we DEFINITELY need more of to help mother nature bounce back.

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The Park, stretching from Kinglake through to the Baw Baws and north-east up to Eildon.

At Loving Earth we’re pretty passionate about this project, firstly because it’s where we make our chocolate (yum) and also because this is our chance to give back to the land.

We work with indigenous communities around the world to source the ingredients for our chocolate, to preserve and protect their way of living with and on the land. Their guardianship is what will guide us into how we can begin to regenerate the planet and supporting the GFNP is our way of contributing to this planetary healing, right on doorstep.

These forests are also home to the tallest flowering trees on the planet (140metres – way bigger than the American redwoods) and home to some pretty cool animals, like the Boobook Owl, who you may recognise from our first ever Easter eggs…told you they were rad.

Getting out in nature is one of our favourite things to do and the area is perfect for exploring and trying out a whole heap of other adventures including bike riding, bushwalking, fishing, bird watching, four-wheel driving, motor biking, camping, zipline tours and much more – FUN!

If that all sounds a bit too active, then check out our top five things to do on a long weekend (like Easter!).

If you’re feeling inspired and want to get involved – here are out top five ways to make a difference:

1. Follow, love and share the Great Forest National Park on Instagram @greatforestnp

2. Learn more about the Great Forest National Park plan

3. Help us to make a GFNP film – donate today

4. Visit the Great Forest National Park – download a Self-Drive Tour Guide today

5. Be sure you’re not using paper sourced from forests that should be protected in the GFNP –choose an Ethical Paper

To find out more, head over to www.greatforestnationalpark.com.au

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