Protecting our Places Grant
By Jane Anderson
Garguree Swampcare has been successful in receiving funding from the NSW Environmental Trust’s Protecting our Places Program for the protection of Aboriginal Places in the Gully and McCrae’s Paddock, Katoomba. This is stage 4 of an ongoing project supported by NSW
Environmental Trust and will support restoration works to the Threatened Ecological Communities and riparian corridor in the Gully. This project will include bush regeneration, streambank stabilisation, habitat enhancement and cultural workshops where the Gundungurra Traditional Owners can share their stories and cultural knowledge with the Blue Mountains community.
These grants have enabled us to make a huge difference in the landscape and community of the Gully by enabling major restoration projects in the areas we call Middle Swamp, Fire Fly Corner and Nellies Fishing. We have removed thousands of woody weeds and weedy annuals, planted thousands of locally endemic plants and started a bushtucker garden featuring plants significant to the The Gully Traditional Owners (GTO). We are always busy and it seems to just be growing as more community realise and hold onto the significance and importance of this living vital place that is known as ‘The Gully’, an Aboriginal Place full of the past, the
present and the future. The grant will support the creation of habitat pockets around Catalina Lake with a significant planting project of around 2000 plants to protect our aquatic fauna and birds. The plants will provide habitat as well as safe refuge.
The GTO will be hosting cultural workshops where they will share their stories and knowledge with the community, focusing on the Bushtucker Garden and weaving with native species such as Lomandra and Dianella as well as weeds found in The Gully.
All of this great work contributes to Garguree being recognised last year winning The Regional and State Indigenous Landcare awards. David King, The GTO Garguree Swampcare coordinator, accepted these awards and brought them back to the community. It was a great achievement and a huge step in the continuation and recognition of how The Gully is healing through working on country, listening on country, sharing on country and always Caring for Country.
A big thank you to the Co-op for donating a delicious morning tea to the Garguree Swampcare Group every month. The volunteers always look forward to what’s on offer!