North Sydney Council Bushcare and Boorowa Community Landcare Groups' (BCLG) annual tree planting weekend held from May 27 to 29 May went off without a hitch after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid pandemic.
Building Bridges to Boorowa was originally inspired by a North Sydney Bushcare volunteer, who suggested volunteers from the city could help rural Landcare members to address the widescale environmental degradation issues they were facing.
This collaboration has been supported by Council's Bushland Management Team since 2000.
Volunteers pay for their own accommodation and are transported to Boorowa by North Sydney Council.
Fourteen NSC Bushcare volunteers (less than half the usual number) and a handful of Landcare Volunteers planted just over 4,000 plants across four properties over the three-day weekend to help provide habitat for wildlife including the threatened Superb Parrot.
The recent rain and well-prepared sites assisted our efforts greatly.
The planting activities were organised by Linda Cavanagh - Boorowa Community Landcare Coordinator (and Landcare Coordinator for Southeast Regional Landcare).
The celebratory dinner hosted by Hilltops Council and BCLG was held on Saturday evening in Boorowa Ex-service's Club. Paul Cavanagh - President of BCLG MC'd the event, Mayor Margaret Roles - Hilltops Council welcomed and thanked the volunteers as did Turlough Guerin - Chief Executive Officer for NSW Landcare.
Several other Hilltops Councillors were in attendance.
This was our first Autumn planting, a departure from the usual September weekend introduced in response to unreliable spring rainfall that dominated the most recent drought, threatening the survival of plantings through the hot, dry summer months. We hadn't accounted for the shorter workdays at this time of year, but still managed to complete the job.
The gratitude that Boorowa landholders feel toward the North Sydney volunteers and the transformative achievement that several thousand plantings make to their properties, is reciprocated by the volunteers themselves, who see the improving natural environment, the returning birdlife and reseeding native trees that have resulted from 20+ years of this unique partnership. Despite the COVID interruption, one volunteer reflected that it felt like we were here just last year, reunited with our country friends.
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