LachLandcare region had five champions recognized as part of the recent 2017 NSW Landcare Award, including David Marsh from Boorowa Community Landcare Group.
The awards, were held in Albury on October 26, as part of the NSW Landcare and Local Land Services Conference, which had over 300 attendees.
The awards recognise the dedication, hard work and community leadership of Landcarers from right across the state.
In the Individual Landcarer Award, Ms Mikla Lewis, from Weddin and Young District Landcare and David Marsh from Boorowa Community Landcare were both recognised as champions, with Mr Marsh going forward to represent NSW at the National Awards.
David is acknowledged as the catalyst for the early Landcare movement in Boorowa and for gently and persuasively awakening the community from slumber, alerting primary producers in particular to the fundamental links between long term profitability and a healthy catchment.
The Fairfax Landcare Community Group award was taken out by the Friends and Residents of Goulburn Swamplands group, affectionately known as FROGS.
The award recognizes an outstanding community group working towards sustainable land use and/or is undertaking on-ground action to protect, enhance or restore an area on behalf of the community.
FROGS are transforming an abandoned brick pit, once full of rubbish, pests and weeds in the heart of Goulburn into a beautiful functioning natural storm and water treatment system, known as the Goulburn Wetlands.
Mr Ray Shiel, President of FROGS Landcare was at the awards ceremony to receive the trophy on behalf of the group.
“This award is for the volunteers, it recognizes the effort of each and every volunteer that devote their time on site to develop the wetlands as a community asset.” Ray said
“FROGS is an outstanding example of community commitment and “people power” for positive change. The group meets every Wednesday and once a month on a Saturday. This equates to around 3000 volunteer hours of on-ground work per year.”
The group will also now go on to represent NSW at the National Awards in 2018.
Crookwell potato farmer Mr Garry Kadwell won the Australian Government Innovation in Agriculture and Land Management award for leadership in the discovery and application of innovative land management practices that deliver improved natural resource management and farm productivity outcomes.
Garry’s highly productive property “Rosedale” is recognized as a leading sustainable farming enterprise and is a model for the integration of conservation into property management and the benefits that it can have for both improved productivity and biodiversity outcomes.
Mr Garry Kadwell was also in Albury to receive his award.
“The philosophy behind our farming is concentrated on high production, but it is vital that we offset that by having a farm that is, for the most part sustainable, resilient and promotes healthy environmental conditions,” Mr Kadwell said.
“By dedicating more of our land into conservation, we have actually lifted our production outputs.
“The ecological zones and biodiverse plantings not only create shelter from wind and frost and reduce evaporation resulting in more growth in our pastures, crops and stock, but have also helped in combating common potato pests such as aphids and grasshoppers, because these areas are promoting beneficial insects and increased bird life which results in a reduced need for pesticides and chemicals.”
“Garry has such an important message for our local land managers about the benefits of balancing conservation and productivity. I hope that he will help to get this message out even further now that he is the NSW State Champion,” said Mary Bonet, LachLandcare Local Landcare Coordinator.
“We need more people to see what can be achieved when we learn to work with nature.”
The final NSW champion from the LachLandcare region is Mr. Ross Webster from Yass Landcare who took out the inaugural NSW Fish Habitat Partnership Individual Award.
Ross has been a champion of the Yass River and its habitat for over two decades.
Ross’s commitment and energy to improve fish habitat in the Yass River, inspired a collaboration with Yass Landcare Group, Yass Valley Council, Greening Australia and Rivers of Carbon and the Yass Soldiers Fishing club and Acclimatization Society.
“These awards highlight the hard work and innovation that is going on all over the LachLandcare region and inspires us to try and build on and connect these efforts,” said Emma Thomas, Chair of LachLandcare.
“We warmly congratulate all our champions and all the others around the State for their efforts”.
The NSW Landcare Awards are supported by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, NSW Government, Landcare NSW and Landcare Australia.