40 Volunteers turned up to Maple Grove, Katoomba for the annual Clean Up Australia event to help remove the rubbish recently deposited by the large rainfall event in February. Aunty Sharyn and David King welcomed us and talked of why this yearly event is so important to the health of the system and the Community. David has been involved with Clean Up Australia since the early beginnings of the program.
The group collected a huge amount of rubbish and felt a great sense of achievement keeping the rubbish out of the Kedumba system whilst gathering with members from Scenic world and the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institution.
And then off course we had a delicious morning tea. See you there next year!
A lovely day greeted us on the 27th February, we were all up early to meet the team from ABC Gardening Australia. Yes, Costa was here to talk with Aunty Sharyn, David and the Garguree Swampcare community about The Gully and Garguree Swampcare.
There were Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos which circled beautifully as they talked. The Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo is seen as a Spirit bird by some of the community which calls out for people and Country. It feels great to know the Gully story of healing and restoration will be shared with more and more people.
About 40 Garguree Swampcare volunteers turned up and we had a proper Bushcare session with multiple takes and the Gully Traditional Owners are thankful for the communities ongoing support to help restore the natural bushland of the Gully. There is a stronger sense of community growing day by day at this beautiful site. We planted about 200 wonderful swamp plants supplied to us by Blue Mountains Wildplant Rescue Nursery, who also came along to help plant them (the plants are all doing fantastically).
After much talking, working, and filming Aunty Sharyn and David Welcomed us to Country and then we all shared a gorgeous morning tea with Costa and the lovely ABC Gardening Australia crew.
Jacqui from EarthSeedFire made the most fantastic bush tucker spread, Hominy Bakery supplied lovey cakes and pizzas, there was a campfire with Swampy Chai and many Garguree swampcarers brought treats to share. I think I heard Costa say it was the best spread they’ve had.
It was such an honour to be part of the day and part of The Gully story, watch out for the story in the next few months on Channel 2 ABC Gardening Australia Friday 7.30pm.
Download the Fact Sheet derived from the questions asked by Gardening Australia pre-filming. In this fact sheet you will learn fascinating information about The Gully including how this significant site is co-managed with the Traditional Owners and Council, dominant plant communities, threatened plant / fauna species and communities, what weed species are being managed, how does the site change with the seasons (possibly undertaking cultural seasonal burning), and what are some of the biggest challenges.
Upper Kedumba Bushcare Group were privileged to have 20 Veolia staff come up from Sydney to participate in one of their Bushcare days – this site is part of “The Gully”. We successfully planted 400 native seedlings in an area previously cleared of Privet and Holly with the help of the Council’s urban weeds program.
Bethany King, a Gully Traditional Owner and the lovely daughter of the wonderful David King GTO, had a fantastic opportunity to organise this event combining her deep connection with Country and with her role as Human Resources Coordinator at Veolia – a company turning waste into energy.
David welcomed the group with a traditional smoking ceremony followed by an interesting walk and talk around the Gully. The day was also filmed as part of Veolia – 2020 Reconciliation Action Plan Launch (see link below).
The team then got stuck into a day ‘greening up’ Upper Kedumba. They planted ferns and shrub layer plants then continued to rehabilitate a soak area.
Many thanks to the team and for Veolia for supplying the plants from Wildplant Rescue!
The GTO Upper Kedumba Bushcare group and Bushcare are very grateful for the fantastic help.
“Veolia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present”
Another very successful Bushcare Groups’ Gully Get-together was held on November 6 last year. Friends of Katoomba Falls Creek Valley Bushcare Group was joined by Upper Kedumba Bushcare Group; Garguree Swampcare Group and Prince Henry Cliff Walk Bushcare Group who all came together to help with a severe infestation of Ligustrumsinense (Small-leaf Privet).
The Privet patch before work
After the Privet Loppers were done!
The Get-together is intended to acknowledge and inspire the volunteers for their sustained efforts and highlight the importance of the Bushcare efforts in the catchment. Over 55 people participated (including staff and presenters) contributing a total of 165 hours weed control over an area of approximately 100m2. Many of those attending are new to Bushcare and the day offered a chance to learn new skills while making a valuable contribution to protecting the natural environment of The Gully.
The morning offered an opportunity for the Bushcare groups who regularly work in the Upper Kedumba Creek Catchment to come together to support each other, learn about the Aboriginal Cultural significance of The Gully and to connect with the community involved in caring for it.
Aunty Sharyn Halls welcomed us before we split into groups each aiming to complete a specific task – there were Privet loppers, Montbretia diggers, mobile hand weeders and tea dwellers.
After a solid work session, we reconvened for lunch and to hear talks from:
David King—Aboriginal Cultural significance of The Gully;
Ian Baird – Bushcare contributions over the past 25 years;
Ian Brown – Pherosphaera fitzgeraldii (Dwarf Mountain Pine) Saving Our Species surveys;
Eric Mahony – BMCC bush regeneration work plans;
Michael Alexander (Prince Henry Cliff Walk Bushcare); Phil Nelson & David Rae (Upper Kedumba) presented snapshot highlights of their groups’ activities.
At the end of the morning, those present left with an increased understanding of the threatened plant species Pherosphaera fitzgeraldii on Katoomba Falls, the importance of looking after The Gully. Motivation is high and we’re all invigorated to continue our Bushcare efforts throughout the catchment to protect the quality of the water flowing over the falls and into the Kedumba River. Thanks to everyone, and for the generous support of the Blue Mountains Food Co-op, Sandy Holmes and the NSW OEH Saving Our Species program for supporting the day.
A female Petalura gigantea – Giant Dragonfly. Photo by Ian Baird.
Threatened Species Day is a national day held each year on 7 September to commemorate the death of the last remaining Tasmanian tiger at Hobart Zoo in 1936. On this date every year we reflect on what has happened in the past and how we can protect our threatened species in the future. It is also a day to celebrate our success stories and ongoing threatened species recovery work.
With all this in mind Garguree Swampcare Group hosted a threatened species event on Sunday September 4.
30 fantastic volunteers joined in on the day which started with a restoration planting along the riparian corridor which connects the Blue Mountains Water Skink populations of the “McCrae’s Paddock” swamp and the “middle” swamp in The Gully Aboriginal Place, Katoomba.
Male Petalura gigantea Giant Dragonfly. Photo by Ian Baird.
Threatened species biscuits cooked by Sandy Holmes.
At 11am Sandy Holmes greeted us with a most amazing brunch, including giant dragonfly cookies and water skink eclairs (they were definitely threatened species …)
This was followed by Welcome to Country and a smoking ceremony by David King. He also spoke about Garguree Swampcare’s work and the ongoing support from the Environmental Trust and “Protecting our Places” grants.
Council’s Environmental Scientist Michael Hensen spoke about a new 10 year Environmental Trust – Saving our Species grant of $750,000 “Swamped by Threats” which will help protect the Blue Mountains Water Skink and the Giant Dragonfly at a number of priority sites across the Blue Mountains and the Newnes Plateau.
We finished the morning’s formal proceedings with Ian Baird presenting an exciting insight into the biology and identification of two iconic threatened species found in Blue Mountains Swamps: the Giant Dragonfly and the Blue Mountains Water Skink.
After that it was back to more connecting to our place through our stomachs!
Eulamprus leurensis (Blue Mountains Water Skink). Photo by Ian Baird.
In September 2012 the Bushcare Groups that work in the upper catchment of the Kedumba River — The Gully — Katoomba, held their first annual Combined Catchment Day. The purpose was to enable all the groups in that water catchment (the area that catches the rain water that drains over Katoomba Falls into the Kedumba River) to come together to meet each other, find out what other Bushcarers are up to and do some Bushcare together. Continue reading →