Volunteer Ventures

Glenbrook Lagoon Floating Turtle Habitat
By Sandy Benson
An amazing pilot program constructing and installing a floating turtle habitat in Glenbrook Lagoon is the first of its kind for the Blue Mountains.
The Glenbrook Lagoon Bushcare group along with community members came together to construct the floating turtle island. The aim of the project which was funded by the NSW Premier’s Office is to provide a safe nesting environment away from predation for the several species of turtle found at Glenbrook Lagoon.

Volunteers from Glenbrook Lagoon Bushcare and corporate volunteers from Salesforce working together to build the base structure

The turtle population Australia-wide is ageing and declining, with few young recruits, thanks to predation on eggs and hatchlings. This is no different to the challenges faced by the Glenbrook Lagoon turtles.
The joint project team involving Bushcare, Councils Healthy Waterways team and the University of Western Sydney are keen to work on this pilot project to provide a sanctuary for the turtles to breed on. This floating island will have easy access from the water for the turtles to climb onto rest, bask and lay their eggs on.

Volunteers sewing up the jute mesh and planting sedges into the coir

The base structure is built from a combination of PVC piping, foam and mesh. The whole island is covered with jute matting, with wetland species tubestock planted into a coconut coir substrate. Worm farms filled with sand sit on top of the structure to ensure that the sand is dry, perfect for egg laying. The submerged and free floating wetland plants create a marsh environment which captures and stores organic material in the peat leading to high quality water treatment as well as providing an ideal habitat.
The project will be assessed and if successful additional turtle islands may be considered.

Turtle Island being moved into place off the Glenbrook lagoon sand bank

Scoop a Poop
We have already had a great response to the collection of possum poo with participant Max saying “I was happy to attend the scoop-a-poop event yesterday which turned out to be a great
success with the hall filled with enthusiastic people!
The issues were well presented and discussed & I managed to collect fresh samples this morning from my own backyard.

I have already notified the group via the app & scanning my code plus photo of the poo from a
breeding adult female Brushtail Possum which frequents the area & has surely checked out my compost area in backyard! I saw a baby last year initially in her pouch then wandering near her a couple weeks later. I have noticed smaller males & ringtail possums in the past who are just occasional visitors. They all come out at night and a backyard light and/or torch is required to see them clearly. On rare occasions I hear the female possum become quite vocal as part of a suspected territorial display and screech at and possibly chase off other possums.
The two lots of possum poo I found were under a peach tree and on a pavement in my backyard”.

Download the Poop a Scoop App to upload your collection results then deliver your poop a Scoop collection kit to the Blue Mountains City Council front desk