Catholic Healthcare

BUSHCARE HAS RETURNED AND GREEN TH UMBS, ENVIRONMENTALISTS AND RESIDENTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO SIGN-UP TODAY SO THAT THEY CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR TOMORROW. Bushcare Volunteer 

The program provides the perfect opportunity to meet like-minded individuals, make friends and have fun, all the while giving back and helping the local environment to survive and thrive.

Other activities include caring for native bushland, conducting plant identification, fauna and flora monitoring, weed control and seed collection for propagation at The Hills Shire Council’s Community Nursery.

Scott Allen has been a Bushcare volunteer for 30 years – donating his time to different Bushcare groups in four Local Government Areas (LGAs).

The Hills Shire resident said he has a passion for protecting the environment, tree planting and preserving the natural character of the area which led him to start volunteering with Bushcare.

He said that the program has been rewarding.

“For me it’s the personal satisfaction of coming back one, two or even three years later and seeing what you’ve planted grow,” Scott said.

“In my case, trees that I’ve planted 30 years ago now look like long established forests. I get a lot of personal satisfaction from seeing that,” he added.

Kevin Steele, who has been a Bushcare volunteer for close to 10 years, echoed similar sentiments.

“It’s great for comradery, getting out in the fresh air and for exercise. Definitely good for mental health and it clears the head,” Kevin added.

Another volunteer, Graham Rawstron became involved with Bushcare after starting a group at Bella Vista Farm more than five years ago.

He said he wanted to protect the trees at the Farm, especially the long established ones.

“My interest has been in managing the weeds and planting trees where we’ve lost them, and maintaining the tree cover,” he said.

Mr Rawstron also added that he liked the friendships and goodwill that Bushcare created and being out in nature.

“I like at the end of the day being dirty, muddy and dusty, but more importantly, knowing that I made a difference,” he said.

“When I walk past an area that we’ve cleared of weeds or we’ve planted new trees, I get a great deal of satisfaction,” he added.

Graham also encouraged others to join.

“The Council can’t do it all,” he said.

“Even the Farm [Bella Vista Farm] itself is a big site and when you think of all the other parks and reserves – that’s plenty of bush to maintain and care for.

“The community needs to chip in and give it a go,” he added.

Council’s Bushcare sites are located throughout the region, from South Maroota to Baulkham Hills and West Pennant Hills. Bushcare is open to people of all ages, however, children under the age of 18 need to be supervised by a guardian.

To join a Bushcare group, or for further information regarding Bushcare, contact Council’s Bushcare Officer on 9843 0555 or email council-[email protected] thehills.nsw.gov.au.

Bushcare Volunteer