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Come venture to our new BUSHCARE KIDS resource page and find a range of activities that will enable you to discover, explore and enjoy nature around your backyard.
Our BUSHCARE KID page is found under the RESOURCES tab https://www.bushcarebluemountains.org.au/resources/bushcare-kids/
Here are some exciting activities
1. Birdlife Australia – Bird in Backyards, 26 Mar 2020. Keep your kids chirpy at home with these activities
2. Bushcare Ranger Programs – downloads some great activity sheets to explore around your backyard.
3. NSW Environment, Energy and Science – Conservation from Your Couch
Here is a list of ways you can safely maintain your social distance and assist our most vulnerable native animals.
4. NSW Environment, Energy and Science – 28 Threatened Species colouring-in pages and masks.
5. NSW Environmental Education Resources Visit the NSW Government Educational Resources webpage
Also check the Blue Mountains City Council – Connecting with Nature Our goal is to inspire the next generation – by connecting them to our special Blue Mountains environment and fostering their natural love of nature. In a learning experience unique to our City within a World Heritage Area, we offer local students the opportunity to explore their local water catchment, learn why it’s special and take action to protect it.
We hope you enjoy!!
The Australian National University recently released Australia’s Environment in 2019, which I hope you may find interesting and useful in your activities. The aim of the report is to annually report on the condition and trajectory of our natural resources and ecosystems. It is based on analysis and interpretation a large volume of satellite, station and survey data.
The report comes in different forms: a national summary report, a 30min webinar, a visual data explorer and environmental scorecards for all regions across Australia. All can be accessed via http://www.ausenv.online .
How did Greater Sydney region go?
Greater Sydney is one of 60 NRM Regions in Australia. This report card summarises changes in the region’s national resources and ecosystems in 2019. CLICK here to view
You can also access scorecards for any other region, including any National Parks, catchment, bioregion, Ramsar site or local government area within your region, via this link.
Council’s priority is always the health and wellbeing of our staff, volunteers and community.
Due to Coronavirus COVID-19, Council has decided to place a temporary suspension on the Bushcare program. This will mean that no Bushcare groups, individual activity or events will take place. This is effective immediately (18 March 2020), until further notice.
Council will continue to take advice from the State and Federal health departments, which will inform our organisational position and response to this unprecedented risk.
Ongoing reviews will take place during this temporary suspension period and further advice will be provided as it comes to hand. Council thanks you for your continuing support of the Bushcare program.
Keeping in touch
How can you stay involved? We will be writing regularly with updates, news and stories. The Bushcare Team acknowledges staying connected during this unprecedented point in time plays an important part of our ‘social’ care for one another.
We will be posting on the Bushcare Website https://www.bushcarebluemountains.org.au/
The Team has put together some of the following ideas…and we would love to hear about your projects or ideas.
Can you think of other ‘social distancing’ and safe activities
If you need any help with downloading and installing apps and Zoom (we hope to produce a guide to help) contact email@example.com
Congratulations to Margaret Baker for winning the inaugural Environmental Citizen of the Year Award by the Blue Mountains City Council. Margaret has been a tireless, committed and passionate advocate for protecting the Blue Mountains environment for over four decades. Giving her time as both a professional and a volunteer, Margaret has shown outstanding commitment to, and excellence in, education, life-long learning and the promotion of the natural environment.
Margaret has contributed to environmental education and advocacy over many years which has made an invaluable contributuion to the Blue Mountains community.
To read the full award go to…https://www.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/media-centre/blue-mountains-citizens-celebrated-at-australia-day-awards
Margaret considers that her greatest contribution as an environmental citizen has been the education of many students in the TAFE system over a number of generations and courses.
When Margaret began at TAFE in late 1983, she was present at the launch of the Advanced Certificate in Outdoor Guiding and moved on to teach and manage Bush Regeneration, the Diploma in Natural Resource Management and Certificates in Conservation and Land Management. In just ten years employment in environmental areas in the Blue Mountains went from almost none to a new industry sector. Staff involved in training increased from legendary co-ordinator Jim Smith, with Margaret as a part-time staffer working out of a shoebox office, to a whole Environmental Studies Unit, with Margaret as its first Head Teacher.
Margaret said she “would want her Award to be dedicated to the many enthusiastic and visionary students who enriched her days and moved on to become paid and volunteer members of a now burgeoning environmental industry in the region and beyond.”
Bushcare Officer Monica Nugent, previous student and one of many participants in Margaret’s courses and field trips over the years reiterated these sentiments, stating “The legacy of Margaret’s meticulous, high standard of teaching and intellectual rigour is a generation of professional bush regenerators and Bushcare volunteers with the highest level plant identification skills, a deep understanding of the Blue Mountains landscape and appreciation for its value. By capably and willingly sharing her expert knowledge of the geology, botany, natural and human history of the Blue Mountains, Margaret has instilled a great joy for the flora and fauna and an enduring passion to care for it.”
A floating, eco habitat designed to provide a safe nesting place for turtles at Glenbrook Lagoon was launched on 10 March.
Turtle Island – a collaboration between Council, Western Sydney University and Blue Mountains volunteers – was a pilot project funded by the NSW Premiers Office and Council.
“This pilot project has already seen much success, with turtle eggs discovered recently,” Mayor Mark Greenhill said.
“Glenbrook Lagoon is home to a number of turtle species, including Eastern Long-neck and Sydney Basin turtles. Turtles have been facing an uncertain future, as foxes destroy 95 per cent of their nests, but the island is providing a refuge.”
Leading expert in turtles Western Sydney University’s Dr Ricky Spencer, whom inspired Geoffrey Smith (Healthy Waterways Program Leader) and Nathan Summers (Bushcare Officer) to design and construct this project, attended the launch along with Council staff, Bushcare volunteers and school students from St Finbar’s Primary School and Glenbrook Primary School.
Local primary students have been involved in environmental studies at Glenbrook Lagoon, including Council Bioblitz events, and Turtle studies.
Glenbrook Lagoon is a haven for remnant bushland, it’s an active Bushcare site and a valued recreation point for the community.
The well-being of the Lagoon has always been important to the community. The Glenbrook Lagoon Society started in 1978 and Bushcare volunteers began working here around 1993, making it one of the earliest community driven Bushcare groups in the Blue Mountains.
Council has an ongoing commitment to restore the ecological condition of Glenbrook Lagoon and the lagoon is now free from major infestations of water weeds such as Salvinia and Cabomba which plagued it for many years.
Turtles play an important role in the ecosystem at the lagoon, acting like vacuum cleaners of the water body.
“The Lagoon is rich with wildlife – native fish, eels, frogs and a remarkable array of birdlife,” Mayor Greenhill said.
Water quality in the lagoon is closely monitored by Council and officers have put incredible effort into addressing all sources of pollution within the catchment.
Turtle habitats, a predesigned structure that includes plastic tubing, aquatic plants, sands and geotextile, are being installed at locations throughout NSW.
VEIW turtle expert Dr Ricky Spencer talking about the Turtle Island Habitat on Blue Mountains City Council Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bluemountainscitycouncil/videos/vb.175066762601689/2734772646614369/?type=2&theater
NSW Seniors Festival (formerly Seniors Week) is the largest festival for seniors in the Southern Hemisphere. To acknowledge the remarkable contributions our local seniors make to our Blue Mountains community, a program of events for the month of February has been put together. The theme for 2020 focuses on ‘Love To Celebrate’.
The Seniors Festival Program for 2020 offers a range of activities from 3 February to 19 March.
Loads of activities are on offer among the vast program including health and exercise activites, bushwalking, art, music, puzzles and games, senior driving workshops, talks on various plants and animals or gatherings where perhaps you encourage a friend to come along.
By Sandy Benson (Bushcare Team Leader)
Sometimes it seems as though the world’s environmental problems are so large it’s overwhelming, we feel like “am I doing enough?” or “what is the point?” It seems that no matter how many reusable shopping bags we use it pales by comparison to the impact of global issues like climate change.
However, the world has come together before to solve global environmental problems, like the hole in the ozone layer. We tackled that issue globally, by coming together to develop a set of rules that eliminated the source of the problem.
You may not feel like it, but the choices you make day in and day out do add up and make a difference. You live in the Blue Mountains because you want to live near nature, go for bushwalks, be with likeminded people and enjoy a sense of community. You probably already go to the op shop instead of buying new, buy only what you need and reduce reliance on packaging. Use resuable bags or boomerang bags, you compost and you join in environmental causes and volunteer your time.
Volunteering with Bushcare brings all of those elements together. We make huge changes on the ground, over time eliminating weeds that would one day overtake our native bush reducing biodiversity and resilience. We discuss world problems (sometimes solving them), get our hands dirty and go home with a real sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
We are not alone in our individual efforts, thinking we are only making a small indent – we are a community of over 400 people turning up each month, equating to 1,200 hours of environmental benefit to our future. We are also part of a much larger community with over 6000 Bushcare/Landcare groups Australia wide. All of us turning up to make a difference!
Integral to Bushcare is the strength of our community engagement and leadership and we are delighted to introduce you to our new Bushcare Officer Ed Bayliss. Ed will be taking over Stephanie Chew’s Bushcare groups and the Swampcare Program.
Ed has hit the ground running and you may have already met him on site with our experienced Bushcare Officers. Having grown up in the Blue Mountains, Ed has a good understanding of the threats facing our local flora and the particular issues our local community is dealing with.
He has a keen mind for landscape restoration in particular creekline restoration and is currently working towards Environmental Management and Water Sensitive Design degree. You may well have seen or worked with Ed on creekline restoration or Bush regeneration projects throughout the Blue Mountains with the Bush Doctor.
Ed said he is very excited to work for the Blue Mountains City Council in Bushcare and with the local community.
Blue Mountains City Council Bushcare Team Leader Sandy Benson said that Ed’s enthusiasm for the conservation of the region’s natural assets and his friendly attitude was a brilliant addition to the Bushcare team.
Please welcome Ed to the Bushcare family.