Volunteers defending nature

CITY SERVANT: Garry Stewart of Lakeside Drive Landcare received the Hunter Senior Volunteer of the Year Award in October. Picture: Phil Hearne WORK HONOURED: Coal Point’s Suzanne Pritchard receives the Environment and Landcare Award from Peabody Energy’s Lloyd Coleman.

LAKE Macquarie Council has paid tribute to local Landcare groups, commending the volunteers for their extraordinary contribution to the natural environments across the city.

In 2015, Lake MacquarieLandcarevolunteers contributed more than 29,000 hours to restoring, rehabilitating and conserving the local environment, removed more than 46,000 square metres of invasive weeds, and planted 8561 plants, the council said.

Lake MacquarieLandcareco-ordinator, Jason Harvey, said the time given by volunteers was of great benefit to the city.

“Over the past 12 months, our almost 300Landcaregroups have devoted themselves to protecting and improving the local environment,” Mr Harvey said.

“We are very proud of all the achievements made and milestones reached last year and are looking forward to building on this in 2016.”

Among the significant Landcare group achievements of 2015 waswinning the NSW-Australian Government Partnerships withLandcareAward.

“During 2015, we also sawLandcareNSW sign a memorandum of understanding with LocalLandServices, which will shape the direction of a sustainableLandcaremodel with state support,” Mr Harvey said.

Lake MacquarieLandcare’s 2015 milestones:

• Blacksmiths Dunecare group celebrated its 25thanniversary;• Central Rankin ParkLandcarecelebrated its20thanniversary;• Coal PointLandcarecelebrated its 20thanniversary;• Warners BayLandcarecelebrated its15thanniversary and planted their 100,000thplant in the Warners Bay catchment; and• theLake MacquarieLandcarepartnership celebrated its 15-year milestone.Lake MacquarieLandcare’s 2015 awards:

• Garry Stewart, from Lakeside DriveLandcare, received the Hunter Senior Volunteer of the Year Award in October, which puts him in the running at a state level;

• Lake MacquarieLandcarewas a semi-finalist for the Peabody Environmental Regional Achievement and Community Awards;

• Coal PointLandcarewon the Peabody Environmental Regional Achievement and Community Awards;

• Lake MacquarieLandcarereceived special recognition for community participation at this year’s NSW Coastal Management Awards;

• Blacksmith’s Dunecare won the NSW Coastcare award at the NSWLandcareAwards; and

• Lake MacquarieLandcarewon the NSW Australian Government Partnerships withLandcareAward, and is in the running for the 2016 National Australian Government Partnerships Award.

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