Vale Lachlan Garland

By Karen Hising and Monica Nugent

Lachlan Garland was a passionate, committed and hardworking volunteer and a strong environmental advocate for many years. He was dedicated and determined to defend, conserve and improve natural areas locally and also more broadly.

As a very experienced and highly-skilled bush regenerator, Lachlan’s involvement in Bushcare was his great love working on natural areas on the ground with other wonderful volunteers. He was the Co-ordinator and member of Summerhayes Park and Braeside Bushcare Groups and was also a member of the Valley of the Waters, Everglades, Central Park, Charles Darwin Walk, Coates Park and Marmion Swamp Bushcare/Landcare Groups. He also attended many Bushcare weeding and planting events and some Swampcare work sessions.

Photo: Lachlan Garland Credit: Emma Garland

Lachlan was a founding member and the Co-ordinator of the Jamison Creek Catchment Group, where he worked closely with Council to remediate and improve natural areas in the Catchment.

Lachlan was also a long-term member of the Blue Mountains Conservation Society and he held various roles on the Management Committee, including President. He represented the National Parks Association on the National Parks Blue Mountains Regional Advisory Committee for several years. Lachlan was also a member of the Blue Mountains Bird Observers and was the first ever Conservation Officer.

He was a tireless environmental campaigner locally and beyond. Opposing the raising of the Warragamba Dam Wall was one issue which he worked on from the very beginning, decades ago. He spent many hours writing submissions and contributing feedback to various proposals.

Lachlan was a member of a number of environmental groups and he would often attend workshops and presentations on a range of topics to learn and keep up-to-date. Likewise, Lachlan was an avid reader, particularly of various environmental publications and newsletters.

He was also an active firefighter with the Valley Heights RFS Brigade for ten years, where he participated in ongoing training, maintenance of equipment and fundraising. He made many friends there and he very much valued the experience and training he gained from there.

Lachlan received Council’s Bushcare Legend Award in 2019, and he was awarded the Seniors Week Recognition Award in 2020 in honour of his environmental and community work.

Lachlan was highly organised and meticulous.  He could be blunt and forthright, but you always knew where he stood.  He was reliable and he would attend environmental meetings and rallies, again and again. He was willing to stand up for nature and not just enjoy its beauty. Lachlan was a friend to many people in the community. He provided wise leadership and he was a mentor.

Lachlan leaves an environmental legacy that will long be remembered and endure. He was highly respected by many for his commitment to the environment, and for this he will be greatly missed.