You are invited to join the Kodala Lane Bushcare Group at Glenbrook Lagoon for their quarterly Bushcare session. Come join us restore the bushland at Kodala Lane.
Our local community are working with council to transform this area into healthy bushland and a pleasant local reserve for all to enjoy. If you’d like to learn more about the local bushland, restore the local area and meet your neighbours come join us!
Bookings Essential. Book by Wednesday 1 December. Click the RSVP below (preferrable) or contact Nathan on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 4780 5623
Get involved in this exciting new project to help post-fire recovery in Blackheath!
Since the 2019-20 fires, the native vegetation in Blackheath is recovering at an exciting rate. Unfortunately, so are the weeds! The fires stimulated a mass germination of Gorse and Broom in this beautiful Blue Mountains Swamp, upstream of the Braeside walking track. Here is your chance to contribute to the massive long-term efforts of local Bushcare volunteers and help tackle these high priority weeds before they flower and release seed.
Please note that this is a special event and that Popes Glen is still closed to residents and members of the public as further work is being carried out (including helicopter, machinery and track work in the post burn area).
Approximately one year after fire, native regeneration is well underway. And a significant effort is required to prevent reproduction or at the very least reduce propagule pressure of Gorse and Broom in 2021.
A combined NPWS/BMCC event. Lunch and morning tea donated by the Hominy Bakery. NPWS will be providing afternoon refreshments.
Bookings Essential. Please click the RSVP link below by Friday 2nd April.
Come help us continue the landscape wide priority ecological restoration of this Endangered Ecological Community. Target biosecurity threats include infestations of English Holly surrounding the swamp, and sweeps into the swamp for recent recruits. This site filters the headwaters of Govetts Creek, which flows into the Grose Wilderness. Enjoy great company and a delicious morning tea and lunch donated by the Hominy Bakery. Numbers will be limited.
Bookings essential: Click the RSVP link below by Friday 2 October. For further information contact James at email@example.com (email preferable) or 4780 5623
Article by Karen Hising, Jan Allen and Keith Brister
Jan Allen, a very observant Bushcare volunteer from the Upper Mountains, found this beautiful Orchid. From research, we were not sure of the full identification, but we have been advised that it may be Chiloglottis seminuda – other experts may offer an opinion.
The genera Chiloglottis is also known as Wasp Orchid. The common name comes from the “callus” – the glands on the labellum, which resemble the body of a female wasp. Instead of being attracted by the general offer of nectar or pollen, many Orchid species, such as the native Chiloglottis genera, use sexual deception to attract male wasp pollinators. These Orchids emit an odorous pheromone very similar to the sexual pheromone produced by females of the pollinator species, thereby luring the male to the flower with the false offer of sex.
Pollination occurs when the male wasps attempt to copulate with structures on the Orchid labellum that mimic the wingless, ant-like female. The high degree of specificity between sexually-deceptive Orchids and their pollinators indicates that there must be subtle, but important, differences in the pheromones produced among even closely related Orchids.
CLICK below to read the book review – Orchids of the Blue Mountains by Sabine Hanisch and Ben Jasiak; how their daughter discovered a long lost orchid and also about the multi-billion dollar Bush Blitz project – a project finding thousands of new species.
Two long-term enthusiastic volunteers recently received Seniors’ Week Recognition Awards.
Mike is a founding and ongoing member of the Else-Mitchell Park (1993) and the Deanei Forest (1994) Bushcare Groups and in the past, the St Columba’s Catholic College Landcare Group. He is a long-term advocate for a range of environmental and conservation issues, as an individual and with the Blue Mountains Conservation Society.
Mike is a long-term and founding member (1996) and Co-Ordinator since 2011 of the Gang-Gang Bush Band, voluntarily providing music for family gatherings, local events, groups and communities. He also provided music for many years to his local church and is involved in local Blue Mountains bands and orchestras.
He is organising a bushdance to raise funds for the RFS/BMCC Mayoral BMR Fund for local people affected by the bushfires. Mike is enthusiastic, kind, caring and always willing to help.
Lachlan is a long-term volunteer in a number of Council/NPWS Bushcare Groups; Coates Park, Charles Darwin Walk, Central Park, Everglades, Braseside and Valley of the Waters. He was the Co-Ordinator/member of the Summerhayes Park Bushcare Group. Over the years, he has also regularly attended many Swampcare work sessions and other Council/NPWS Bushcare Events.
Lachlan is the Co-Ordinator of the Jamison Creek Catchment Group. He is a committed long-term member of the Bushcare Network. Lachlan was a member of the NPWS Regional Advisory Committee for NPWS Association for several years. He was president of the Blue Mountains Conservation Society, for 2.5 years, as well as Membership Secretary for a number of years and, most recently, National Parks Officer.
He is also involved with the Land-Use Sub-Committee. Lachlan is passionate about the environment and has, for many years been involved in a range of environmental initiatives and general advocacy; as an individual and with other groups within the Blue Mountains and beyond.Lachlan is a long-term volunteer in a number of Council/NPWS Bushcare Groups; Coates Park, Charles Darwin Walk, Central Park, Everglades, Braseside and Valley of the Waters. He was the Co-Ordinator/member of the Summerhayes Park Bushcare Group.
Catchment Day events provide great opportunities for all Bushcare groups regularly working in the Catchment to come together to support each other, socialise, learn about each other’s work and find out about any future work planned for the area. Often it’s also a way to supplement existing weed control or environmental restoration work.
Leura Falls Creek and Gordon Creek Catchment Care day at Carrington Park went ahead Sunday 6 October on a warm and sunny day producing another highly successful event with great outcomes for the catchment. This year, 13 volunteers participated, contributing a total of 60 hours. Supported by Monica Nugent (BMCC & NPWS), Karen Hising (BMCC) and Neil Coghill (NPWS) the volunteers’ efforts removed Broom, Tagasaste, Dogwood, Tutsan, Holly, Bird Cherry, Cotoneaster, lots of aggies and more!
It was great to see representation from all eight Bushcare groups working in the catchment including volunteers from Vale Street; Leura Cascades; Cumberland Walkway; Banksia Park; Govett St; Gordon Falls Reserve; and Prince Henry Cliff Walk Bushcare Groups and the Everglades Landcare and Vihara Landcare Groups.
The bushland in Carrington Park, on Cliff Drive in Katoomba was chosen as it met many great outcomes: a potential source of weeds that can be spread by birds and/or stormwater into the national park below, the location was highly visible from surrounding houses and tourist roads so a perfect opportunity to promote Bushcare, inform locals about invasive plants and attract new volunteers. Finally, weed control for this area was identified as an action in the Leura and Gordon Falls Creek Catchment Group’s Strategy and Action Plan.
Exposing some historical amenities building below Solitary Restaurant-Cafe Kiosk
On a separate occasion, a very timely road closure of Cliff Drive for drainage works allowed Council to employ bush regeneration contractors to tackle the extremely dense woody weeds and vines below the Solitary Restaurant-Cafe to unveil the historic amenities building in the process!
The before and after photos are very revealing!!!
A big thank you to all involved to create a happy outcome!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
It is with a very sad heart that we say goodbye to John. He was dearly loved by his family, cherished by his many friends and his dedication to the community is a loss that will be felt by everyone who had the privilege to know him. I can only imagine part of the loss that his family is feeling and pass on our sincere condolences and support.
I met John many years ago when we teamed up to walk our dogs. I say “our dogs” but really, John was walking his neighbour’s dog as the neighbour did not have time and the dog needed exercise. It was a classic example of the help that John gave without fuss or any strings attached. During these daily walks I not only marvelled at his fitness but also his pride in his family and commitment to the community.
He was a long standing and well regarded member of the Warrimoo Bushfire Brigade. He held many positons in the Brigade and at all times provided non-judgemental support and wise counsel to all members. Many of the members referred to John as “father” as a mark of their respect. The Brigade recognised him as a life member, an award that must be earnt by at least 10 years of meritorious service. John was a more than worthy recipient of this award.
John was an inaugural member of the Cross Street Bushcare and the Long Angle Landcare groups. He regularly attended work days for many years while he was physically able. His dedication and concern for us and the protection of the bushland was appreciated by all. He had a sense of humour that lifted our spirits and we enjoyed his contributions to our conversations at the afternoon tea. We have missed him at the volunteer BBQs held in recent years but still remember his joyous company of past times. I am sure we will continue to contemplate the “good old days” of John’s company of past times for many more years.
There were many other groups that John generously gave his time to. These included the Warrimoo Citizens Association and Warrimoo Tennis Court and Hall Committees. John was also a proud volunteer for the Sydney Olympics. It gave him great satisfaction to reflect on the time that he was the driver for the Israeli athletes and officials. This was a demonstration of John’s character as he enjoyed helping others in need without any expectation of personal reward; the opportunity to help was reward enough.
John and one of his many friends
Many probably do not know that John was also a skilful negotiator. On two occasions, as a result of John’s manoeuvring, I ended up owning dogs that I had not bargained for. On the first occasion after waiting for his chance (it was a well-timed manoeuvre) , John suggested that I take a rescue dog home to see if it would fit into the household. Of course the rest of the story was predictable. On the second, we were at a BBQ and were trying to convince John and Doreen to take on a dog that a family reluctantly had to give up. John was too wily a negotiator for us and when my wife Joan, in frustration said that if no one else wanted the dog we would take it on, he made his move. Before we could change our minds John arranged for the dog to be delivered to us. Of course he knew we were dog lovers and that they would be well looked after. He also knew we were in need of the dogs and so, while he was quick to strike, he also knew that both the dogs and us would benefit from his match making. These ordinary examples of John’s insightful and compassionate nature are a tribute to his character and my fond memories of him.
I have treasured memories of the afternoons that Joan, Doreen, John and I spent relaxing on his porch in pleasant conversation while watching the happenings in the street. John would occasionally greet passers-by and some would call in to catch up. John loved Warrimoo and was surrounded by many dear friends who have had the good fortune to have a shared the life of a modest, genuine, caring man.
To respect John’s legacy, we should strive to continue with his high standards of commitment, compassion, practical help and loyalty that was at all times willingly volunteered. This is the very least that we can do to honour a very dear mate.
It is never a surprise that so many of our Bushcare volunteers are stand-out community members, not only for their commitment to caring for the bush but also for caring about their community, and 2017 is no exception. Four of our long-term volunteers received Senior Citizens Awards this year.
PAUL VALE is a very dedicated volunteer. He is an active member of the following Bushcare groups:
Popes Glen Bushcare Group
Centenary Reserve Bushcare Group
Upper Kedumba Creek Bushcare Group
In addition, he’s involved in Swampcare and participates in many Bushcare events and workshops, usually generously acting as photographer. He is also the current Convenor of the Blue Mountains Bushcare Network, represents the Network on the Popes Glen Remediation Committee, is the Bushcare Officer for the Blue Mountains Conservation Society, the Conservation Officer of Blue Mountains Bird Observers, the Blue Mountains Bushcare Network Representative and a member of the Executive Committee of the Greater Sydney Landcare Network. And somewhere in all that, he finds time for ongoing care of Blackheath Memorial Park.
ROGER WALKER is a hardworking and dedicated volunteer with the Leura Cascades Bushcare Group. He is also a long-standing and active member of the Leura Falls Creek Catchment Group. Roger has also been the Secretary for the Leura Home Garden Club for about five years. He has been volunteering in the gardens at Everglades since 2008. At Everglades, he also volunteers as a garden guide for tour groups and helps with front-of-house operations during festivals and events.
ERST CARMICHAEL is a very kind, generous and community-minded person, always willing to assist anyone where she can. She founded and was very involved with Friends of Lawson Action Group (FLAG) in the mid-nineties until approximately 2002 (a sub-group of CORE – Coalition of Residents for the Environment). Erst also helped establish the Association of Concerned Mid-Mountains Residents (ACMMR) and was very active in that organisation from approximately 2007 until just recently.
Erst founded the South Lawson Park Bushcare Group in 1995 and has been the convenor from that time. She has regularly participated in Streamwatch at South Lawson since 2005.
RAE DRUITT was a founding member of the Wentworth Falls Lake Bushcare Group in 1988, and has been its Coordinator since its inception, ie 19 years. The WFLBG meets twice a month, on the second Tuesday for two hours in the afternoon, and on the fourth Saturday for three hours in the afternoon. She has been awarded a BMCC Bushcare Hard Yakka Award and was also a founder member of Sublime Point Bushcare Group back in 1996. She was a volunteer at the Native Plant Nurseries (one in Blackheath, 1995-2005, and one in Lawson, 1998-2005) of the Blue Mountains Conservation Society, during which time the Society grossed over $270,000.
Rae was one of the first Volunteers at the Cultural Centre when it opened in November 2012, and still works there on Tuesday mornings at the Front Desk. Rae also put in several years of volunteering at the Zig Zag Railway looking after the gardens and building a bush track (with information about native plants) for visitors.