Category Archives: General

Megalong Public School wins NSW Landcare 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 was given to the amazing video produced by Megalong Public School alongside Traditional Owner, David King, showing the threatened species Callistemon megalongensis found within their local area.

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. They are a celebration of landcare; recognising individuals, groups and partnerships as well as First Nations custodians caring for Country.

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!!

View Save the Callistemon megalongensis video 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” http:// https://dl.bookfunnel.com/
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.

Project Plant It – Youtube

Project Plant It – Youtube

A short video showcases a Council project helping young people and children reconnect with nature.

The video, Project Plant It, shows students from Winmalee Public School spending National Tree Day at Springwood’s Deanei Forest Reserve, together with local Bushcare volunteers, members of the Blue Mountains Youth Council, and Council’s Bushcare, Community Development and Environmental Education & Engagement representatives.

The Year 2 students learned about the vital role trees play in our lives, health and future. They also learned how to plant and care for native plants, with 233 planted on the day.

Mayor Mark Greenhill said the short film is another great example of the magic that happens when people of all ages connect through a shared passion for our local environment.

“I want to thank all the members of our Youth Council, as well as the staff and students of Winmalee Public School and the Council staff involved in this project and video,” Cr Greenhill said.

“The benefits of such simple projects are far reaching, as the video shows – giving young people a voice in their future and appreciation for the past, connecting older and younger children with each other and with their environment, and bringing new energy to existing Bushcare work.”

 Teacher Jessica Smith said she enjoyed seeing the smiles on her students’ faces as they engaged in learning in the outdoors. “We at Winmalee Public School really appreciate being part of your project,” she said.

The idea for Project Plant It came from the Blue Mountains Youth Council, who wanted to make a positive contribution to our local environment. Youth Council is comprised of selected high school aged young people who meet monthly to develop projects that bring positive change in their communities. Project Plant It will continue in 2020. Local primary schools are encouraged to contact Council on 4780 5680 to register their interest.

Else-Mitchell Park tree planting morning

Article by Karen Hising

More than a year ago, a friendly neighbour to the Else-Mitchell Park Bushcare site kindly offered the Bushcare Group some Eucayptus deanei seedlings to raise and plant into the Reserve.  The seedlings had appeared in a large pot from a very large and beautiful Eucalyptus deanei tree in the neighbour’s front garden – a remnant tree from the original forest of the area.  Mike Purtell, co-ordinator and founding member of the Else-Mitchell Park Bushcare Group, agreed to raise the seedlings to a larger size for future planting. 

Meeting the neighbour some time later, I suggested he join us in planting the juvenile trees back into the Reserve, which he thought was a great idea!  But then I thought, having a number of plants available, why not invite all the surrounding neighbours. 

So, the Bushcare Group and six neighbouring families had a very enjoyable morning planting trees in various parts of the site – each family planting a tree each.  We then had a special morning tea and chat. 

So the Reserve now has more trees and the local neighbours and the Bushcare Group members had a chance to catch up!  With another neighbour, Mike is now trying to organise an interview with the neighbour who provided the seedlings to record the memories of living in the local area for historic reference, with particular regard to ongoing changes at Else-Mitchell Park.

Else-Mitchell Park tree planting morning Photo credit: John Papanidis

Atlas of Living Australia & iNaturalist Australia – are now live and linked.


Common Sea Dragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus). Image by johnturnbull uploaded to iNaturalist Australia’s Australiasian Fishes project (CC-BY-NC-SA)

Dear Atlas of Living Australia community. iNaturalist Australia is now live as of October 2019. The collaboration with iNaturalist is a good fit for the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) ensuring significant improvements to data quality and user experience.  iNaturalist Australia, the Australian node of iNaturalist, is the world’s leading global social biodiversity network.

Collaborating with iNaturalist is a wonderful opportunity for us and our users. It provides an easy-to-use desktop and mobile platform, support for species identification, and tools for assessing data quality. All iNaturalist Australia data is regularly fed into the ALA and you can link your ALA and iNaturalist accounts to see all your records in one place.

Human observation data is a valuable part of the ALA. It helps to create a more detailed picture of our national biodiversity, and assists scientists and decision makers to deliver better outcomes for the environment and our species. iNaturalist Australia’s species identification features and data quality measures will ensure your plant, animal or fungi sightings are more valuable than ever.

We now encourage you to use iNaturalist Australia to record your individual plant, animal and fungi sightings. You can still upload sightings using our Record a Sighting function, but we will be phasing it out. Read more…..

Australia’s frogs need your help

From 8-17 November 2019, take part in FrogID Week, Australia’s biggest frog count!

Our frogs are under threat from habitat loss, disease and climate change – taking part in FrogID Week will help provide our scientists with valuable data for the protection and conservation of frogs.

It aims to monitor frog distributions over time, helping us to understand how frogs and their ecosystems are responding to a changing planet.

Remember, every call counts!

Click here to download the free app and register on the Australian Museum Frod ID website https://www.frogid.net.au/