Tag Archives: Volunteer

Farewell to Bushcare legend Bill Webster

Bill Popes Glen legend Bill Webster (left Stephanie Chew Bushcare Officer, second from left Sandy Benson Bushcare Team Leader,  second from right Bill Webster Popes Glen Volunteer, right Alan Lane Popes Glen Volunteer Coordinator)

Popes Glen Bushcare group had a special morning tea to say “Farewell, thank you and good luck” to Bill  Webster, longtime bushcare volunteer with 24 years of service to the Popes Glen Bushcare site. Bill’s commitment to making a difference has helped transform the site from a weed infested swamp to the rehabilitated site it is today. Of course, there will always be weeds but with perseverance it is clear to see from the success in Popes Glen that it is all worth it.

We also remembered Jan, Bill’s wife and a long-time and hard-working supporter until 2011, as famous for her morning teas as for her willingness to get in amongst the willows and mud. Both Bill and Jan’s commitment to Bushcare and in particular to Popes Glen will leave an everlasting impact.

Bill will be dearly missed every month but we wish him all the best for the next chapter in his life.

Fitzgerald Combined Catchment Day Mount Riverview

Saturday 23 September 2017

The Fitzgerald Creek Catchment Group invites you for a day of weeding in the valley. Come along and meet the group and help remove Privet, Cestrum and Arum lilies from a tributary of the beuatiful Cripple Creek. We will access the creek via an easy-medium 10 minute bushwalk on track.

Lunch and morning tea provided. Bookings are essential. Book with Stephanie at schew@bmcc.nsw.gov.au or 4780 5623 by Monday 18th September.

Ruths Revenge

Members of the Minnehaha Bushcare group were joined by about twenty of Ruth Ley’s friends on Saturday 1st April to celebrate Ruth’s birthday at the Minnehaha picnic area. Ruth was one of the founding members of the Minnehaha Bushcare group and was an active member for 25 years. She was also a founding member of the Katoomba Creek Group and active for 20 years, as well as being an active member of 3 other groups.

One of Ruth’s missions in Bushcare was to rid Yosemite and Katoomba creeks of Montbretia. Her many friends gathered to help continue her legacy in getting revenge against the Montbretia in Yosemite Creek. They also helped to install a plaque in her honour and planted a memorial garden adjoining the Bushcare site. The group would like to thank all of Ruth’s friends who made contributions towards the memorial plaque.

Following many weeks of miserable weather, we were very grateful to be treated to a glorious sunny day to work together and enjoyed morning tea, including date muffins and other goodies. We then shared some of our favourite memories of Ruth, who was a good friend and inspiration to us all. The group plans to continue this tradition on 1st April each year.

Ruth Ley

A tireless and founding member

of Minnehaha Bushcare Group

(from 1991 to 2016). Friend and

protector of this land.

An inspiration to Bushcarers

who continue Ruth’s legacy.

 

Farewell John Hollis

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.

Vale John Hollis.

 

2 minutes with … Beth Winsor

Beth Winsor at home with her Gymea lily

Active volunteer with Links view Landcare and Bush Place Bushcare, Beth has been involved in Bushcare for 2 years starting initially with Links view Landcare then joining Bush place Bushcare group at its inception. Beth spends the second Saturday of the month out in the field with these 2 groups and whilst studying Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management online Beth has found these Bushcare days a valuable source of knowledge, inspiration and bush comradery.

Garnering different perspectives visions and practical experience enables a broad base for Beth’s studies. She has also been involved with the Bushcare Boosters program and grass seed collecting and sorting workshops. She has a passion for botany and seems to find an interesting plant every work day which she will enthusiastically share with the groups.

Once her children are all in school Beth will find work in the conservation and land management field, so she can feel fulfilled in her work and give back to the community she calls home.

 

Leura Falls Creek Catchment 2017 weed blitz morning

Scouts help out at Leura Falls Creek photo by Jenny Hill

The 27th May 2017 provided us with perfect weather for our annual get-together in the Leura Falls Creek Catchment. This year it was at Vale St and we were joined by students from Katoomba Primary School SQID Squad and children from the 1st Blackheath Scouts and Cubs. The children planted 434 plants along the creek line and Vale St. They were helped by Ed and Adrian from the Bush Doctors, Eric Mahony, scout leaders, Katoomba Primary teacher Sally Dare and parents. All up we had 42 volunteers come to the morning. Work also included removal of woody weeds , follow-up weeding and mulching.

The morning was organised by Council’s bushcare. Big thanks go to Karen Hising, Tracy Abbas and Eric Mahony and of course to everyone who came. At morning tea we had a presentation by the SQID Squad, and updates from the Leura Falls Creek Catchment Working Group and National Parks and Wildlife Service. We also had a small presentation to Frances Dutton who started the Vale St bushcare group and Lynne Carson who has worked with the Vale St and Cumberland Walkway groups for more than 10 years. Frances and Lynne are leaving the mountains and we wish them all the best.

The morning was highly enjoyable and productive. We can’t wait for next year’s get-together.

Little end note: If you didn’t know … SQID stands for Stormwater Quality Improvement Device and the Katoomba PS SQID Squad are an environmental group who are involved in a number of projects as part of their stewardship of the catchment.

Wildlife Monitoring Workshop – spotlighting & other non-invasive survey techniques

Sugar Glider in Blue Gum Swamp by Peter Smith

Lower Blue Mountains Bushcare, Landcare, Swampcare and Bush Backyards Volunteers:

How healthy is the biodiversity of your Bushcare site? Do you want to know more about the fauna that lives in the lower mountains bushland?

To learn ways to find out, you’re invited to t attend this free survey workshop with renowned ecologists, Judy Smith and Peter Smith. 

We will meet early on Friday afternoon for a briefing on the ethical protocols of monitoring and learn about methods and equipment you can use to monitor wildlife living on your bushcare site, then do some fieldwork surveying in Sun Valley. You’ll contribute to a survey using techniques such as hair tubes and sand traps, owl call recordings, and spotlight for other fauna. 

Light refreshments provided. Please advise of any special dietary requirements.

Registration before Tuesday 20 June is essential – use the ticketing option below or contact Monica Nugent on 4780 5623 or mnugent@bmcc.nsw.gov.au for more information. You will receive more information about the location and what to bring after you register.

The Biodiversity Near Me Survey is funded by the NSW Office of the Environment and Heritage and brought to you by Blue Mountains City Council Bushcare.

Bushcare Boosters Training

If you are a current or prospective Blue Mountains Community Conservation Volunteer -Bushcare, Landcare, Bush Backyards members – you are invited to the 3rd and last of our essential training modules for the year:  Weed Control Techniques  and Working Safely.

This is a free half day interactive Bushcare Boosters training workshop presented by the very experienced, qualified Bushcare Boosters Trainer, Geoff Bakewell and hosted by BMCC Bushcare.

You will learn why we use different methods on different weeds, how to be most efficient,  what the safety issues at Bushcare are and how help look after your fellow Bushcarers.

The workshop will cover:
• weed characteristics
• basic weed control techniques
• safe work practices and methodology

The content is of an introductory level and is most suitable for volunteers who have some practical experience in the field and who wish to participate in a short refresher course to develop a better understanding of environmental restoration techniques and safe work practices.

This training will better equip volunteer Bushcare Group Co-ordinators who do not already have formal qualifications in environmental restoration.

Morning tea is provided. Please RSVP and advise of any special dietary requirements to Monica by Friday 12 May.

What should you bring: notebook and camera, raincoat. Wear work clothes – long sleeves and pants, and dress for the weather. We will proceed regardless of weather as this workshop is largely classroom based.

Film Celebrates South Lawson Bushcare’s Values and Achievements

South Lawson Park Bushcare photo by Vera Hong

Last year marked 20 years for this stalwart group of volunteers and they have successfully confronted just about every issue a Bushcare group can face – not just weeds but serious erosion and the ongoing impacts of urban development. To celebrate this achievement the film Blue Mountains Bushcare: South Lawson Park has been produced by Peter Ardill and Vera Hong. Directed by Vera Hong (Seconds Minutes Hours Productions) the film examines bushland values, the ongoing threats that urban bushland faces and how the bushcare group has managed these challenges. The film contains some beautifully filmed scenes of the Lawson Creek catchment and is available for viewing at https://vimeo.com/verahong/south-lawson-bushcare Thanks to Greater Sydney Local Land Services, the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program and Blue Mountains City Council for project support and funding.

The South Lawson Group first started in mid-1995 with the then only Blue Mountains City Council Bushcare officer, Virginia Bear. Our aim was to regenerate and maintain the health of the upper catchment of Lawson Creek, which flows into Bedford Creek and the Nepean River.

The early years were spent mostly at the top of the Waratah St/Honour Ave section of the reserve (see map below) where Japanese honeysuckle, Privet, Montbretia, Blackberry and Broom were major invasive weeds. Some seed collecting, planting and track work were done, the latter with help from TAFE students under the guidance of a Bushcare Officer/TAFE teacher.

We expanded our weeding to the creekline and over the years to the surrounds of the BMX track and soccer field. In more recent times we have been extending the riparian buffer zone along the creek and swamp of the former golf course area by planting and allowing the bush to regenerate naturally. Some of us are also actively involved in Streamwatch and this process has been both informative and complementary for our Bushcare work.

Extending the buffer to the riparian corridor by planting with local natives.

The main vegetation communities along the creek are Eucalyptus woodland, Blue Mountains Swamp and a riparian strip of assorted native plant species, including rainforest species. The threatened species Persoonia acerosa and the endemic species Acacia ptychoclada are also present.

Our group is very committed and we are fortunate to have a few bush regeneration practitioners amongst us. Our website is also worth a look at: http://southlawsonpark.bushcarebluemountains.org.au It has some interesting photos and excellent educational material.