Author Archives: Bushcare Office

Mt Wilson Bird Walk

Credit Bas Hensen

Saturday, 27 October @ 7:00 am9:00 am


Enjoy the chorus of birds and find out who is making what noise with Ecologist Anne Carey!  We will review bird guides and apps too.

This is an outdoor event on a bush trail, walking over uneven ground and on hilly terrain. You will be on your feet for a few hours. Please be self sufficient with snacks, water and suitable clothing for a variety of weather conditions and as the sun rises. If you have binoculars, please bring them.

Bookings are essential so please RSVP via the link below by 22nd October.

Mt Wilson Bird Walk

Location details provided in confirmation letter

Waterbug Identification Training

EOI – Thurs 11 Oct

Blue Mountains City Council have been fortunate to have secured John Gooderham, author of The Waterbug Book (CSIRO Publishing), to deliver waterbug identification training workshops on the 29th and 30th October 2018 (probably at Old Ford Reserve, Megalong). These workshops are for Council staff, Bushcare/Landcare/Swampcare/Streamwatch volunteers, teachers and other community members.

If you would like to participate in the training, please contact Amy St Lawrence by Thursday 11 October to express your interest.  Places are limited but we’ll do our best to accommodate everyone. You can complete either the Monday or the Tuesday workshop, or if super keen (and places are available), both!

Council’s Healthy Waterways team can then assist workshop participants to complete their own waterbug surveys with their Bushcare/Landcare/Swampcare/Streamwatch groups or schools, with data collected to be entered into the National Waterbug Blitz –

Amy St Lawrence –

Swampfest at Leura draws a crowd

Drain stencil by Katoomba Public School

Leura’s Peter Carroll Oval was abuzz with swamp-lovers of all ages on Sunday at Swampfest.

The event was a joint project between Council and the Leura Falls Creek Catchment Community Group, as well as students and staff from Katoomba Public School, St Canice’s Primary School and Katoomba High School.

Over 200 people enjoyed walks, talks, displays and workshops on swampy topics from crayfish and skinks to how to keep a water-sensitive home.

“Swampfest was a wonderful way to discover our unique and ancient Blue Mountains swamps and how we can help protect them,” said Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill.

“Swamps are ancient systems that play a vital role in keeping our waterways clean and clear. Like giant filters in the landscape, they help to keep pollution out of our creeks. They also act like enormous sponges. By absorbing and releasing water slowly over time, swamps keep our creeks and waterfalls flowing even during drought. They also provide a vital drought refuge for wildlife. Some local swamp species are found nowhere else in the world,” said the Mayor.

About 50 festival-goers made a pledge to protect local swamps and waterways by being more stormwater aware: keeping litter and chemicals out of stormwater drains, washing their car on the lawn to keep detergent out of street drains and installing a rainwater tank.

“Many people don’t realise it, but stormwater runoff is one of the biggest causes of damage to our swamps and creeks. Unlike sewage, stormwater is generally not treated before being discharged to waterways. By keeping pollution out of stormwater drains, we are helping to protect our creeks.”

Emma Kennedy (BMCC) demonstrates a waterway-friendly house

Since 2014, Council and Water NSW together have invested $350,000 in the protection of swamps and water quality in Leura Falls Creek, including water quality monitoring, remediation works and the installation of 7 new stormwater treatment systems. Water monitoring has shown up to 93% reduction in faecal bacteria, up to 91% reduction in total nitrogen, and around 11.4 tonnes of rubbish and sediment removed annually from the creek.

Swampfest was supported by a grant from the NSW Government’s Environment Trust.

Water Sensitive Cities Workshops

Help shape a sustainable water future for the Blue Mountains

Do you want our waterways to be healthy in the long term? To live in a place that is more resilient to heatwaves, drought, flooding and bushfire?

Our city faces significant challenges (such as climate change and urban development) that will have a big impact on our waterways and the way we use water. To secure a sustainable future, we need to rethink how we use and value water now. As a member of our local community, your knowledge and ideas are vital to this discussion.

Have your say

Council, together with Water NSW and the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, is running community workshops to help guide us towards a more sustainable, livable, ‘water sensitive’ future. This is an exciting opportunity for people from the community, government and business to get together and help shape our future.  The workshops will be dynamic and interactive, exploring:

  • How we might benefit from a ‘water sensitive’ approach to development;
  • successful ‘water sensitive’ case studies from Australia and overseas; and
  • potential local projects to implement as part of Council’s new Water Sensitive City Plan.

You can choose a workshop time and location that suits you:

Date Location Time
Tuesday 30 October Lawson Mechanics Institute Hall Evening: 7-9pm. Dinner provided
Wednesday 31 October Katoomba Cultural Centre Daytime: 9.30am-12.30pm. Lunch provided
Wednesday 31 October Springwood Sports Club Evening: 7-9pm. Dinner provided

To secure your place, go to:


Phone 4780 5000 (ask for Emma Kennedy or Geoffrey Smith)

National Landcare Awards – VOTE NOW for GARGUREE SWAMPCARE

Carex erupting in the newly-wet swamp area.

National Landcare Awards

Vote now for our very own Garguree Swampcare Group!

We are so happy to announce that through sheer hard work and perseverance Garguree Swampcare are finalists in the National Landcare Awards.

The Gully was recognized as an Aboriginal Place in 2002, where a joint management initiative began between The Gully Traditional Owners and the Blue Mountains City Council. In 2012, Garguree Swampcare began repair on the degraded swamp system located in “The Gully, Katoomba” by removing large stands of willows and other woody weeds to encourage native vegetation to regrow and encourage native fauna back into the area. This along with groundworks has  allowed water flow back into the swamp to rehydrate the natural system.

The most important part of this work has been connecting people back with Country. Working on Country has not only healed the land but has forged long lasting links between the Traditional Owners and the people who volunteer with Bushcare on this special site.

Voting is now open and closes on Wednesday, 10 October 2018 with the winner being announced on Thursday, 11 October at the Awards gala dinner.

VOTE NOW using the ‘awards’ link below:


Garguree Swampcare (Located in ‘The Gully’ in Katoomba)


Swampcare at North Hazelbrook

Do you have a swamp in your backyard or interested in swamp restoration?

Then come join us for this very special event in Hazelbrook, where you will learn the basic principles about swamp restoration whilst giving this swamp a helping hand.

The swamp is located off Rocklea Street, which is the very north end of the urban area and is still in its early stages of being restored, so there is plenty of primary work to be done on a variety of weeds – Erica, buddleia, privet, crofton weed.

A FREE delicious lunch and morning tea has been kindly donated by Hominy Bakery.

Bookings are essential so please RSVP via the link on this page or contact Stephanie at by Thursday 20 September.

Where: Rocklea Street, North Hazelbrook
When: Friday, 28 September @ 9:00 am3:00 pm

Be inspired! Come and explore Hazelbrook

Hazelbrook Weed, Walk and Talk – Gloria Park

Come join your local Bushcare Officer for a FREE, fun event for all ages in Gloria Park, Hazelbrook.

Where  you will go on a discovery walk and talk, learn about local plants and animals and give the site a helping hand by doing some weeding at the same time. This is the third ‘Weed, Walk and Talk’ session to be held in Hazelbrook. Bookings are essential so please RSVP via the link on this page or contact Stephanie at

Where: Gloria Park, Lester Avenue, Hazelbrook
When: Sunday, September 23, 2pm-5pm

Leura Swampfest

Swampfest is a FREE, fun event for all ages jam-packed with activities, walks, talks and workshops.

A FREE, fun event for all ages jam-packed with activities, walks, talks and workshops. Discover our local swamps – learn all about swamp critters and find out why swamps are so special. Go on a swamp safari, get up close and personal with a crayfish, make art and enjoy expert-led walks and talks. Book in for a specific activity, or just come along for a great day out!

What people said about last year’s event:

“Kids / parents / grandparents all had a great time…”

“Loved the hands on stuff – very engaging…”

“Great speakers and workshops…”

BYO picnic to enjoy, or buy a sausage sizzle. Coffee cart on site. (Support our war on waste: BYO cup!)

*For some activities, numbers are limited and bookings are essential.

*Walking tours include some narrow bush pathways with uneven surfaces. All other activities are suitable for wheelchair or pram access. Please contact us at if you have any questions about accessibility.

Where: Peter Carroll Field, Clarence Street, Leura
When: Sunday, September 23, 10am-2pm.

Call out for contributions to the Gecko Newsletter

Bushcare needs your stories!

The Gecko is a newsletter produced by Blue Mountains City Council to keep volunteers up to date with current news, events and information.  If you have any interesting environmental stories, Bushcare moments or successful how to’s that you would love to share and would like to contribute to this newsletter, please contact the Blue Mountains City Council Bushcare Team Leader on (02) 4780 5528, or email

We would love to hear from you!

Farewell to Bushcare legend Bill Webster

Bill Popes Glen legend Bill Webster (left Stephanie Chew Bushcare Officer, second from left Sandy Benson Bushcare Team Leader,  second from right Bill Webster Popes Glen Volunteer, right Alan Lane Popes Glen Volunteer Coordinator)

Popes Glen Bushcare group had a special morning tea to say “Farewell, thank you and good luck” to Bill  Webster, longtime bushcare volunteer with 24 years of service to the Popes Glen Bushcare site. Bill’s commitment to making a difference has helped transform the site from a weed infested swamp to the rehabilitated site it is today. Of course, there will always be weeds but with perseverance it is clear to see from the success in Popes Glen that it is all worth it.

We also remembered Jan, Bill’s wife and a long-time and hard-working supporter until 2011, as famous for her morning teas as for her willingness to get in amongst the willows and mud. Both Bill and Jan’s commitment to Bushcare and in particular to Popes Glen will leave an everlasting impact.

Bill will be dearly missed every month but we wish him all the best for the next chapter in his life.