Galston resident Barry Lees has been named Senior and Overall Regional Volunteer of the Year by The Centre for Volunteering, after some two decades of dedication to preserving Hornsby Shire’s beautiful natural environment.
Mr Lees has volunteered with Hornsby Council’s Bushcare program and other organisations since 2002. As leader of the Carrs Bush Bushcare group at Fagan Park, his dedication, innovation and guidance has seen the site flourish, becoming a healthy remnant of the Critically Endangered Ecological Community of Sydney Turpentine Ironback Forest.
His extensive work includes bush regeneration, planting native plants and providing advice to landholders on growing native plants and managing their bushland. In addition, he works with Council’s Warada Ngurang Community Nursery to distribute local tree species throughout rural areas to improve habitat corridors.
As a member of the Australian Plants Society, Barry managed the Hornsby Herbarium online project which documents the plants of the local area. His work with the Herbarium also sees him attend plant surveys, searching for new species on bushland from Wisemans Ferry to Bobbin Head, Pennant Hills and Hornsby. The botanising group has provided over 75 comprehensive species lists for Council’s bushland reserves, adding considerably to our database of local native plants.
As an inaugural member of the Still Creek Landcare Group, Barry has monitored water quality in local streams and removed weeds in remote areas around the Hawkesbury River. Having recently retired as coordinator of the group, he continues to volunteer at information stalls and events, advocating for bush regeneration on private property. This work conserves the local character of our rural suburbs, improving habitat for local wildlife and enhancing liveability of the Shire.
The bushcare program has been working to restoring bushland areas since 1989. There are 400 registered volunteers working at 65 different sites across the Shire. For more information and to volunteer visit https://www.hornsby.nsw.gov.au/environment/flora-and-fauna/bushlandmanagement/bushcare