Category Archives: General

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

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”
View the video: this outlines the extensive history, commitment and success of one of the Blue Mountains first bushland groups, Popes Glen Bushcare

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…..