From Left to Right: Sissy Stewart, North Sydney Bushcare volunteer; Jilly Gibson, North Sydney Council Mayor; Mick Veitch, Member of the NSW Legislative Council and Deputy Chair of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Landcare (ALP); Rob Dulhunty, Chair of Landcare NSW; Katrina Hodgkinson, Chair of PFL (Nationals); Jeremy Buckingham, Treasurer of PFL (Greens); Penny Sharpe, PFL member (ALP); Jodie Harrison, PFL member (ALP); Greg Aplin, PFL member (Liberal Party), Boorowa landholder Steve Jarvis and his son Peter.

 

City and country volunteers celebrate their combined efforts with a Parliamentary Friends of Landcare Event to remember

Monday (1 May 2017) Landcarers, Bushcarers, students and parliamentarians gathered at the Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability in Sydney to celebrate the positive impact of city and country volunteers.

Every year for the past 17 years, around 30 Sydney-based volunteers have travelled to Boorowa, a farming community near Young, to lend a hand to local Landcarers and farmers. The volunteers plant native trees, shrubs and groundcovers to create wildlife corridors and address environmental degradation such as erosion and salinity.

This event was the first reciprocal visit, with a group of 50 children, farmers and Landcarers from Boorowa making the 670km round trip to plant native species in a precious area of bushland on Sydney Harbour. 

Building Bridges to Boorowa is a successful partnership that has achieved remarkable results.  Over 50,000 trees have been planted on more than 40 properties in the Boorowa region creating benefits for local and migratory wildlife (including threatened species such as the Superb Parrot).  

Without the support of these city volunteers, planting on this scale would be difficult and costly.

Monday’s event included a conversation between two long term participants in the partnership – farmer Steve Jarvis and Bushcare volunteer Sissy Stewart – facilitated by the Hon Katrina Hodgkinson MP, chair of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Landcare.

For the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Landcare (PFL) the event was an opportunity to see firsthand how Landcare is helping local communities.  The PFL continues a longstanding tradition of bipartisan support Landcare has enjoyed since it started nearly 30 years ago.

Each year they come to Boorowa , some new faces and some old friends. They hop off the bus and plant trees in the thousands like a well-oiled machine. Each year our farmers look in amazement and think, how could we have possibly done that ourselves!

                                                                                                                Steve Jarvis, Boorowa Landholder

It’s the relationship with the people that is the most outstanding thing.  The welcome they give, the feeling we are wanted there.  Initially it was a salinity problem and degradation of habitat for the Superb Parrot that everyone spoke about.  The focus now is to provide habitat and generally improve the environment.

                                                                                                                Bushcare volunteer Sissy Stewart

Our dedicated staff and volunteers have braved the cold, rain, wind and even blistering heat to plant thousands of native trees, shrubs and groundcovers in the Boorowa region over the past 17 years. They’ve also sown many seeds of friendship along the way and helped us form a lasting bond between our two communities.

North Sydney Mayor Jilly Gibson

The Building Bridges to Boorowa project is a perfect example of what can be achieved when bringing together likeminded communities with a shared vision, galvanising long term partnerships which continue to deliver great outcomes for our environment.  I am very proud to be a part of Boorowa Council supporting the vision for 17 years, and look forward to the continuation of the partnership under the newly merged Hilltops Council banner.

Administrator for Hilltops Council, and the former Mayor for Boorowa Council, Wendy Tuckerman.

The PFL is delighted to support such events which highlight Landcare initiatives in the country and the city.  I thank Boorowa Landcare for making the trip to Sydney to share their experiences and highlight their tremendous efforts in caring for our environment, particularly throughout the Boorowa and Harden districts.  This event just goes to show that regardless of where you live, there are practical ways the community can maintain and improve the environment and local natural spaces.

Chair of Parliamentary Friends of Landcare, the Hon Katrina Hodgkinson MP

This partnership illustrates how Landcare is a highly effective model to engage volunteers, landholders and communities in managing our natural resources.  To replicate these successful initiatives we need a thriving Landcare movement with professional services and infrastructure to support our hardworking volunteers.

Rob Dulhunty, Chair, Landcare NSW

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RELATED ARTICLES:

The Land (Mon 1st May 2017)

The ABC Country Hour (Mon 1st May 2017)

Minister Blair – Legislative Council (Wed 3rd May 2017)

For further information contact:

Landcare NSW     

Leigh McLaughlin – 0412 234 832

Cassie Price – 0402 408 791