Friday the First of November 2019

By Jane Anderson

Upper Kedumba Bushcare Group were privileged to have 20 Veolia staff come up from Sydney to participate in one of their Bushcare days – this site is part of “The Gully”.  We successfully planted 400 native seedlings in an area previously cleared of Privet and Holly with the help of the Council’s urban weeds program.

Bethany King, a Gully Traditional Owner and the lovely daughter of the wonderful David King GTO, had a fantastic opportunity to organise this event combining her deep connection with Country and with her role as Human Resources Coordinator at Veolia – a company turning waste into energy.

David welcomed the group with a traditional smoking ceremony followed by an interesting  walk and talk around the Gully. The day was also filmed as part of Veolia – 2020 Reconciliation Action Plan Launch (see link below).

The team then got stuck into a day ‘greening up’ Upper Kedumba. They planted ferns and shrub layer plants then continued to rehabilitate a soak area.

Many thanks to the team and for Veolia for supplying the plants from Wildplant Rescue!

The GTO Upper Kedumba Bushcare group and Bushcare are very grateful for the fantastic help.

Upper Kedumba planting day with Veolia staff Photo: Jane Anderson

“Veolia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present”

Click here to view: Veolia – 2020 Reconciliation Action Plan Launch https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=vO7HZTPotQI

Leura Falls and Gordon Creeks Catchment Care Day 2019

Article by Monica Nugent and Jenny Hill

Catchment Day events provide great opportunities for all Bushcare groups regularly working in the Catchment to come together to support each other, socialise, learn about each other’s work and find out about any future work planned for the area.  Often it’s also a way to supplement existing weed control or environmental restoration work.

Leura Falls Creek and Gordon Creek Catchment Care day at Carrington Park went ahead Sunday 6 October on a warm and sunny day producing another highly successful event with great outcomes for the catchment. This year, 13 volunteers participated, contributing a total of 60 hours. Supported by Monica Nugent (BMCC & NPWS), Karen Hising (BMCC) and Neil Coghill (NPWS) the volunteers’ efforts removed Broom, Tagasaste, Dogwood, Tutsan, Holly, Bird Cherry, Cotoneaster, lots of aggies and more!

It was great to see representation from all eight Bushcare groups working in the catchment including volunteers from Vale Street; Leura Cascades; Cumberland Walkway; Banksia Park; Govett St; Gordon Falls Reserve; and Prince Henry Cliff Walk Bushcare Groups and the Everglades Landcare and Vihara Landcare Groups.

The bushland in Carrington Park, on Cliff Drive in Katoomba was chosen as it met many great outcomes:  a potential source of weeds that can be spread by birds and/or stormwater into the national park below, the location was highly visible from surrounding houses and tourist roads so a perfect opportunity to promote Bushcare, inform locals about invasive plants and attract new volunteers. Finally, weed control for this area was identified as an action in the Leura and Gordon Falls Creek Catchment Group’s Strategy and Action Plan.

Weeding above the national park  at Carrington Park Photo credit: BMCC
BMCC Bushcare and NPWS volunteers enjoying morning tea and catch up with other bushcare groups in the catchment. Photo: BMCC

Exposing some historical amenities building below Solitary Restaurant-Cafe Kiosk

On a separate occasion, a very timely road closure of Cliff Drive for drainage works allowed Council to employ bush regeneration contractors to tackle the extremely dense woody weeds and vines below the Solitary Restaurant-Cafe to unveil the historic amenities building in the process!

The before and after photos are very revealing!!!

Before photo – dense woody weeds and vines on Cliff Drive Photo Credit: Trish Kidd
After photo – historical amenities block “unveiled” Photo credit: Trish Kidd

A big thank you to all involved to create a happy outcome!

Vale Una King

Tribute by Nathan Summers

It is with sadness that we mark the loss of one of our long term members of the Bushcare community.  Una King, who had been one of the founding members of the Redgum Park Bushcare Group, at Bullaburra, passed away on the 27 October at the age of 93.  From her childhood on a flower farm in what was then rural Miranda in the 1920’s, Una spent part of her adult life in Guildford with her family, until they moved to the mountains in the 1970’s, a move fitting in with her long term love of the bush and the Blue Mountains. 

From the beginning she was always very active within her local Blue Mountains community.  Una was always a strong advocate for things that needed to be done from roads, to community facilities, to the environment which she valued so importantly, a task she always did politely yet consistently.

Her community involvement included commencement of the Blue Mountains Lapidary Club, which still runs today, reflecting her love of gemstones, fossicking and the outdoors, the Bullaburra Progress Association and Community Hall, and the Bushcare program.  Una had also worked at the Katoomba Hospital and Blue Mountains City Council in the 1970’s and 80’s.

In 1993, Una was a key player of a group of people that got the first Bush Regeneration TAFE course conducted in the Blue Mountains.  Based at the Bullaburra Community Hall, this was taught by Eric Mahony (now Council’s Natural Area Management Program Leader, and formerly one of Council’s original Bushcare Officers).  This also happened to be the beginning of Eric’s long association with the Blue Mountains.

Una was also a key player in the commencement of the Redgum Park Bushcare Group, which initially focussed on weeding as well as track work and other development of Redgum Park’s recreation facilities.  The Bushcare group continues today, with new generations of members.

Una King (sitting front left) with the early Redgum Park bushcare group, 1994. Photo: BMCC

Another one of Una’s qualities was a good family lady who was great with kids.  This is reflected in the close affectionate relations with her own children and grandchildren, and even great grandchildren, and also other people who encountered her motherly qualities in earlier years.  It was also shown with the constant number of children who were part of the gem club at Bullaburra.

Una was someone who kept active right up until the end of her life, she was a great community lady and made a contribution to the Bushcare program that was subtle yet a significant part of its development.

Megalong Public School wins NSW Junior Landcare Team Award

Congratulations to Megalong Public School for winning the Grand Champion Woolworths Junior Landcare Team Award at the recent 2019 NSW Landcare Awards. This award acknowledged the amazing video produced by Megalong Public School alongside Gundungurra elder, David King, showing the threatened species Callistemon megalongensis found within their local area.

Grand Champions Woolworth Junior Landcare Team Megalong Public School Photo Courtesy: Stephanie Scott

The awards held at Broken Hill are where Landcare Champions from across NSW come together to celebrate impressive achievements in the Landcare community – celebrating incredible efforts to protect NSW land, water and biodiversity.

Grand champions of the NSW National Award categories will go on to represent the whole NSW Landcare Community at the 2020 National Landcare Awards in Sydney. Good Luck Megalong Public School!!

Megalong Public School visits the Living Desert Flora and Fauna Sanctuary in Broken Hill; to learn the importance of regeneration of the landscape, and the importance of looking after local fauna such as red kangaroos in drought. Photo Courtesy: Stephanie Scott

To view this film click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pT1Z3eUaO30

Decades of Healing “The Full Story”

By Alan Lane and Paul Vale, Popes Glen Bushcare

From a willow infested wasteland to a thriving Blue Mountains wetland
You will know about the work of Popes Glen Bushcare group to rehabilitate the extensive willow forest and silt plug at the headwaters of Popes Glen Creek, Blackheath.

Alan Lane and Paul Vale are pleased to let you know they have updated the 2015 photo history (“Decades of Healing”) to now cover the entire project from 2002 up until 2019 in a booklet entitled “The Full Story”.

This illustrated history contains over 100 photographs describing the work in full – failures as well as successes, highlighting the application of “adaptive management” in the successful outcome. Included are fifteen appendices providing scientific data of all the various monitoring and survey programs they conducted (native and weed vegetation cover; quality of surface and subsurface water; soil accumulation rate; abundance and diversity of birds, frogs, stygofauna and macroinvertebrates).

Alan noted “This book is for bushcare volunteers and professionals, restoration ecologists, local councils and environmental groups, including schools interested in Citizen Science. It is both a motivational and “how-to” guide for groups tackling a large and complex rehabilitation project that perhaps seems over-ambitious”.

View the book FREE showing the digitial photo history “Wasteland to Wetland – The Full Story” https://dl.bookfunnel.com/ebgais2pxn
View the video: this outlines the extensive history, commitment and success of one of the Blue Mountains first bushland groups, Popes Glen Bushcare
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=610sas330EQ

Community wildlife survey

The NSW Government’s Community Wildlife Survey – NSW Environment, Energy and Science for 2019 is now open and ready for you to share your sightings HERE

If you have seen platypus, koalas, quolls, echnidas or possums the want to hear from you. Visit HERE for more information.

We need your help in understanding and conserving koalas and other local wildlife.

We are running a statewide survey that incorporates citizen science to improve our understanding of the distribution of koalas and other wildlife in New South Wales and how their populations have changed over time.

The information you provide in this NSW Community Wildlife Survey for 2019 will build on the findings we have from earlier community surveys and allow us to compare wildlife populations in 2006 and 2019. This will help us decide the priority sites for action as part of the NSW Government’s Koala Strategy.

The survey questions include:

  • which of the 10 target animals in the image gallery occur in your local area
  • when you last saw the animals in your local area and if you think their numbers are increasing, decreasing or staying the same
  • the health of the koalas in your local area and do they have young (joeys)
  • what you think are the main threats to koalas in your local area
  • where in New South Wales you have seen any of the 10 target animals over the last 2 years.