Passion for parks
Many moons ago a couple of passionate rangers pondered the prospects of engaging a few friendly neighbours in some woody weed control.
Some 25 years later, this seed of an idea has matured. It has been nurtured with time, benefiting from the enthusiasm of many people to make a difference. A tangible transformation.
Today, ParkCare represents the cornerstone of our energetic volunteer program. A community-based partnership connecting people with parks through the natural values of the bush capital. From collecting native seeds to removing nasty weeds and controlling erosion, ParkCare represents a band of passionate volunteers committed to giving something back.
Collectively as a community we have all benefited, as will those who will ultimately walk in our footsteps. In the context of conservation custodians, our amazing volunteers help us in so many varied ways. It’s this diversity, the natural variety, which is the real strength underscoring a powerful volunteer program.
Friends of the Pinnacle have been rescuing and relocating areas of native grass tussocks which lie in the path of progress. These volunteers have been using a rather innovative stretcher system to move these native species from harm’s way. Their dedication, their passion to the task at hand is rather inspirational.
The recently formed, energetic Mount Pleasant ParkCare group has removed over 1500 invasive Cootamundra Wattles by hand. Last year they were joined by over 50 Australian Defence Force Academy cadets from across the world who simply pitched in to lend a helping hand.
Meanwhile out on Urambi Hills the local volunteers have been working hard to regenerate the rolling hills beyond Tuggeranong. They’ve been planting, nurturing, caring for thousands of new trees which, with time, will provide a majestic backdrop.
Across the bush capital, local catchment groups have collaborated with Indigenous communities to enhance the management of Aboriginal heritage sites, advocating the adoption of cultural burning practices.
With specialist skills and technical talent, community members volunteer their time in conserving, protecting our built rural heritage. From high country mountain huts to historic precincts scattered across the bush capital, people power is making a real difference. At Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve guests are greeted by highly trained knowledgeable volunteers, keen to impart their insights to enhance any visitor experience.
Volunteers join us from diverse cultural backgrounds and mixed age groups that reflecting the community we work with. If you would like to leave a legacy, give a little back and connect with nature, visit The ParkCare Initiative - Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate - Environment
Brett McNamara is with ACT Parks & Conservation Service.
Article also appeared on 15 January 2019 in The Chronicle