Building Bridges to Boorowa celebrates 20 years

Two decades, hundreds of friendships and thousands of trees.

2019 marks the 20th year of the Building Bridges to Boorowa program, a collaboration between Boorowa Community Landcare Group and North Sydney Bushcare.

The group arrived in Boorowa last Friday to plant trees on a number of properties in the district before marking the milestone with a dinner on Saturday night.

First stop on the trip was to the Mason family's farm just outside of Boorowa on Friday afternoon.

Elizabeth Mason, along with husband Peter and son Richard have been heavily involved with the program since it was established.

Mrs Mason said it wouldn't be possible to plant as many trees as they do each year without the help of the North Sydney Bushcare volunteers.

"We used to do it all ourselves, I even started off, at once stage, propagating my own trees," Mrs Mason said.

"2012 was the last tree lot I did on my own, that I propagated myself from seed I collected on the property.

"It's wonderful because we wouldn't be able to get all this done if we didn't have all these wonderful volunteers from Sydney."

Mrs Mason said it was great to meet the volunteers, all the while helping to re-vegetate her property.

"I think a lot of them quite enjoy doing what they are doing," she said.

"This year, we're doing a big planting and they are helping with half of them."

One of these volunteers is Lynn Holliday, who has made the trip to Boorowa a few times since she started with North Sydney Bushcare around 14 years ago.

She said volunteering has plenty of benefits both socially and environmentally.

"I've been an environmentalist for many, many years, longer than I can remember and I started off with Bushcare when I retired from full time work," she said.

"It was just bliss to be in the outdoors, doing something that was has enormous value but also gave me a degree of satisfaction, a pleasure to see something like this and see how much good it is doing environmentally.

"It's been a great pleasure because you can pass on your skills and knowledge and have that backwards and forwards flow."

Ms Holliday, originally from New Zealand, said the trip to Boorowa gave her a chance to re-connect with rural areas while also bridging the gap between country and city communities.

"It's such a fabulous community down here but that notion of bridging the city and the country is such a fabulous thing," she said.

"It does create that knowledge of each other's positions and exchange of information but I think it's very important for people in the city in particular to know how people in the country are living and how they are surviving.

"Boorowa people are coming to the city as well so there's that sort of contact and that sort of exchange."

Ms Holliday also noted the importance of planting trees in order to help the environment.

"To see how these trees are growing, how these avenues of trees grow like a Roman army in a nice way," she said

"Trees just roll out across the landscape and then you come back and you see birds and you hear that wildlife that is coming into the area, the salinity is dropping, so all the benefits are happening."

Just up the row from Ms Holliday, a familiar face was getting their hands dirty.

Mayor of Hilltops Council, Councillor Brian Ingram also planted a number of trees on Friday afternoon and said the council was hoping to continue giving the same level of support that the old Boorowa Council gave to the project.

"It's just natural for us to continue and keep that collaboration and cooperation going," Cr Ingram said.

He said the collaboration not only opens the eyes of city people but makes an injection into the Boorowa economy.

"Especially in seasons like this, people come from the city, they appreciate the problems we face," he said.

"I've had a few comments have been made to me already today on how tough it is out here."

After helping out the Mason family, the volunteers also stopped by Suzanne Kelly's property "Wingadene" and Andrew and Michelle Southwell at 'Edenbrae'.