Category Archives: Picnic

Bushcare Awards 2016

The view of the Megalong Escarpment provided a fabulous backdrop for the annual Bushcare Picnic

As always, the Bushcare Team had a very difficult time deciding which of our very many fabulous volunteers should be recognised with a Mayoral Award this year but after much deliberation (and next year’s short list already drawn up !) the following dedicated, hard working, committed and all round wonderful people were chosen:

HARD YAKKA 

Helen Rose and David Churches Leura Park 

John Hill accepted the Hard Yakka Award on behalf of Helen Rose David Churches

Members of both Leura Park Bushcare and Prince Henry Cliff Walk (attending twice month). Since discovering Bushcare by attending a bird walk and talk organised by Gordon Falls Bushcare several years ago, David and Helen have regularly attended and actively participated in bushcare in the Leura Falls Creek catchment. David and Helen are also strong advocates for Bushcare involvement at Springwood Bushwalking Club and frequently contribute to submission writing and often plan their holidays around Bushcare commitments !

MASTERS AWARD

Alan Dean (left) with Mayor Mark Greenhill and Chris Watson (right)

Chris Watson & Alan Dean, Jackson Park Faulconbridge   

Chris Watson Chris is a long-term member of Jackson Park Bushcare Group, but he undertakes a lot of additional work and monitoring in his own time.  His tenacity, stoic approach and excellent strategies keep this site looking fantastic!

Alan Dean – Alan is a founding and long-term member of Jackson Park Bushcare Group (almost 20 years).  He is extremely dedicated, hard-working and has been pivotal in transforming this site over time.

Both Alan and Chris undertake any work required on site, despite most weather conditions and difficulties of the terrain or weed infestation challenge.  They don’t even bother with an afternoon tea break!

JUNIOR BUSHCARE LEGEND

Liam Booyens 12 years old –  Garguree Swampcare

Liam Booyens with Jasmine Payget and Mayor Mark Greenhill

Liam is a young and enthusiastic Bushcare member who has been involved with Garguree Swamp care for 7 years. He has spent these years connecting to country in many ways by watching and listening, playing and working to restore country.

He has a great sense of place at Garguree and his confidence is growing as he does.Liam has also spent 3 weekends wrangling sycamores at Jenolan

He has been involved in making Bee Homes and has attended a habitat workshop in Bilpin and the night before the Bushcare Picnic he spent the night camped out enjoying the bio blitz and spotting arboreal mammals.

All of these experiences enhance his natural ability and love of the natural world around him and we hope he is involved with Bush care for many years to come.

LANDCARE LEGEND: Karleen Waldron

Growing up in the lower Blue Mountains helped develop a love which has inspired this person to both advocate , volunteer and work for protection of our bushland and all the creatures that live in it. This passion has led to volunteering over many years with Bushcare, Landcare & WIRES.

Karleen started Long Angle Landcare group & is a core member of the Fitzgeralds Creek Catchment group. She has strongly advocated for the protection of the Sun Valley / Fitzgeralds Creek catchment over the past two decades.

Karleen’s tireless advocacy has paid off over the years, with her work together with the Long Angle Group being instrumental in convincing Sydney Water not to proceed with plans to discharge sewage outfalls into Fitzgeralds Creek, and leveraging multiple grants to target weeds from their source points in Sun Valley all the way down the catchment to the confluence with the Nepean River.

Working in the bush regeneration industry for over 15 years, she has also extended herself to transfer her considerable skills to volunteer groups and to many Blue Mountains TAFE students, teaching Cert 3 Conservation & Land Management. She is well beloved and respected by many students & volunteers she has worked with over the past 10 years and through them has made a significant contribution to the local bush regeneration industry.

           

BUSHCARE LEGEND OF THE YEAR: Shirley Brown

Shirley Brown, Bushcare legend of the Year

Shirley first started Bushcare  over 30 years ago with the National Trust at Middle Harbour (Roseville), in the early 1980s when living in Sydney.  She then worked occasional days in the Blue Mountains with ACTV (Australian Conservation Trust Volunteers).

Shirley Brown is a true Bushcare legend … she is currently a consistent member of 5 Bushcare Groups as well as many swampcare events.  Her commitment extends well beyond those individual sites through her contribution to catchment coordination and a myriad of other small but important tasks.  Most importantly Shirley has introduced many people to bushcare, bringing them along to one of her many groups – she has been involved with 10 groups over the years (at one time it was 8 concurrently).

After moving to the mountains, Shirley joined up with the Friends of the Blue Mountains which began in 1989, to weed around Echo Point, Jamison Creek, Darks Common and the lantana in the Lapstone Tunnel area.

She became a regular member of 2 local groups from their beginnings in the mid 90s – Lindemann Rd in 1995 and Valley of the Waters in 1996.

After her family commitments reduced she became more involved from 2004, joining another 5 groups, (2 of which she was a founding member):

  • MINNE HA HA BUSHCARE
  • GOVETTS ST BUSHCARE
  • KATOOMBA CREEK BUSHCARE
  • BRAHMA KUMARIS, and
  • UPPER KATOOMBA CREEK BUSHCARE
  • LEURA PARK

Shirley is always keen to get stuck into the bush, and is always the first to head off and start work while the rest of us faff about getting ready and chatting in the morning. She keeps us Bushcare Officers in check, making sure we are aware of any significant weed or native species present in the work area, and letting us know if anyone in the group needs to get a lesson or reminder about plant id.

Whilst not keen on meetings, Shirley does recognise the importance of planning and coordinating and has contributed to the Govetts & Katoomba Creek Catchment Coordination Group since  Sept 2006. Shirley has been untiring in promoting Bushcare and sustainable living. For many years she assisted with editing our newsletter and she has been an instrumental advocate for disseminating the Safe & SustaInable Gardening booklet she helped to develop.

Bushcare Legends Steve Barratt and Shirley Brown hand on the Golden Trowel

GROUP AWARDS:

10 Years

  • Everglades Landcare Group
  • Coates Park Bushcare Group
  • Woodford Glen Bushcare Group
  • Mount Irvine Landcare Group

15 Years

  • Explorers Reserve Bushcare Group
  • Cross St and Rickard Rd Sports Common Bushcare  Group
  • Bellata Court Bushcare Group

21 Years

  • Katoomba Creek Bushcare Group
  • Sublime Point Bushcare Group

30 Years

  • Centenary Reserve Bushcare Group

    David Coleby and Rae Druitt with Councillor Chris van der Kley

The 2017 Bushcare Picnic

Our annual Thank You Bushcare picnic is on Saturday 29 April 2017 at

Megalong Valley Community Hall – Save the Date! 

This year we are combining the usual lunch-time bar-b-q picnic with a camp-out on Friday 28th April, a night-time fauna survey and early morning birdwatching so – stay posted for more information coming soon!

Lunch will be at noon with our annual awards presentations at 2:00pm.

More details coming soon!

 

David King: Bushcare Legend 2015

David King was awarded BMCC Bushcare Legend of the Year by Deputy Mayor Chris van der Kley

David King was awarded BMCC Bushcare Legend of the Year 2015 by Deputy Mayor Chris van der Kley

To an ordinary person, the idea of founding five Bushcare groups, and keeping them sustained, year after year, with chocolate cakes and chai, through rain, hail and shine, while also juggling the demands of full time work and family, would seem like a crazy task.

But David King, son of Aunty Mary King, Gundungurra   Aboriginal elder, and member of The Gully Traditional Owners, is no ordinary person.

David is this year’s Bushcare Legend of the Year, an award presented by Council each year for outstanding achievements in the field of Bushcare.

The award is the highest level of recognition we can give anyone within the Bushcare Program. It recognises sustained efforts over many years.

David was nominated by the Bushcare staff because he is an inspirational leader and working companion. He has the sort of enthusiasm that makes everyone around him feel great. We truly don’t know where he gets his energy from.

Over the past 15 years, Mr King has enthused many local volunteers in the task of restoring and caring for the Country he holds dear.

He has established and nurtured several Bushcare and Landcare groups, including Gulunga Bushcare at Horseshoe Falls, Gibbergunyah Bushcare Group at Gloria Park, Hazelbrook, and Garang Landcare Group at Faulconbridge Lily Pond.

David is also the driving force behind the creation and success of Garguree Swampcare. With support from Council’s Environment Levy and multiple grants from the NSW Environmental Trust, Garguree Swampcare volunteers – under David King’s leadership – are restoring the degraded swamp systems within ‘The Gully’, an Aboriginal Place (adjacent to the Katoomba Sports & Aquatic Centre), managed in partnership between The Gully Traditional Owners and Council.

Thanks to years of hard work controlling weeds, planting and restoring creeklines and swamp areas, the Gully swamp systems are starting to come back to life. As the swamp recovers, the group is sharing the significance of The Gully and the cultural importance of swamps through cultural awareness workshops, walks and talks.

And as the country heals, personal connections are also thriving. Through Garguree Swampcare, people from across the Aboriginal, local and broader community have formed   personal, enduring relationships as they work together Caring for Country.

Now, Mr King is looking to inspire the custodians of the future. Most recently, he has started the Birriban Landcare group at Katoomba High School, where a whole new generation of young people are being captivated with this enthusiasm for caring for Country.

It has been a deeply personal journey for both David and his family, who are reconnecting to Country through restoring the lands that have been a part of their family for thousands of years.

Mayor Mark Greenhill said “Many people don’t realise it, but it’s often dedicated locals like these, working quietly and tirelessly in the background, that we can thank for healthy local creeks and bushland, including the birds and animals that depend on them.”

“Because year in, year out, they are helping to tackle weeds, replant native habitats, reduce stormwater pollution and restore creek lines across the City.”

“People like David King are true local legends – they’re helping to look after our local bushland, waterways and wildlife, so we can all enjoy them into the future,” said Mr Greenhill.

Council supports more than 500 community conservation volunteers across the City each year, through Council’s Environment Levy.

Jenny Hill, last year’s Bushcare Legend, presented Mr King with the Golden Trowel of Recognition at the Bushcare Picnic, held annually by Council to thank local community conservation volunteers. View the Garguree Swampcare story on youtube at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIDtzDeVx0w

 

Message from Erin

Welcome to the autumn edition of the Gecko — or, as we call the online version, Gecko Live.

Thanks to those who came along to the annual Bushcare picnic. We had perfect weather for our fun day of games and activities, BBQ lunch and awards ‘ceremony’. See the article below for photos of the day. Now the office is back to the ebb and flow of the usual bushcare activities.

I would like to thank everyone for their involvement in the Bushcare survey/questionnaire. You can see the results here. The standout result was from the first question we asked: ‘How would you like to receive information about Bushcare activities?’ The most popular answer was ‘the Gecko’ with the second being ‘email from Community Co-ordinator’. For those who send out an email to their members monthly, this is very well received. So keep up the good work!

And finally, Lyndal Sullivan has been awarded the part-time Bushcare Officer position. I am delighted that she will be staying with the team.

Erin Hall

Bushcare Team Leader

The Bushcare Picnic

For those who came along to the Bushcare Picnic on the 13 April, it was a lovely day in the Megalong. We tossed a gumboot and found out about the waterbugs from the creek around the corner. We also honoured the groups that have been with us for 5, 10, 15 and 20 years, with our first ever 25-year service award being presented to Centenary Glen. Thanks to the Bushcare officers for cooking up a storm and to Amy from the Environmental Sustainability Team for running the water bug activities. Here are a few photos from the day. Continue reading