We celebrated ‘the year that was’ for Central West Lachlan Landcare this week, with a chance to reflect on the activities that we have undertaken in 2016.
Due to our office being inaccessible after damage from a tree branch off a Yellow Box (Eucalyptus melliodora) falling on the roof of the building and causing significant damage it was a quiet start to the year. We returned to a reconditioned building thanks to Parkes Shire Council (PSC), in March for our first Seed Collection Workshop which was well attended and set a positive mood for the remainder of the year.
Due to increased funding for Landcare roles across the State, we were able to extend our office hours to be open weekdays between 9am and 3.30pm which has allowed a significant increase in use of the building both for our workshops and other associated group workshops.
In association with PSC, we held two Motley Crew working mornings at PAC Park and it has been pleasing to see this work expand over the past 12 months with the assistance of many volunteers and organisations, with Council receiving several awards for this area. As with most significant ‘change’ in an area, the planning and funding for this work has a longer history than may at first be visible and the project is fortunate to have had significant foresight in the planning for this project.
I have been fortunate to be part of two events at Bedgerabong this year, the first being the Pig Day for local high school students and a compost on the farm workshop. These were both fantastic events at the showground, both showcasing positive undertakings in their respective topics.
After a rain interrupted start and postponement for the Back to Bulgandramine Cultural Festival in Peak Hill, the Festival went ahead tying in with Reconciliation Week events in June with approximately 300 people attending. Even though we couldn’t hold the celebration at the Bulgandramine site, the enthusiasm and celebration was not dulled.
The end of June saw the commencement of our first Green Army Team which and I was fortunate to have their company over 20 weeks working in the Parkes and Forbes shires on many projects. We will see a new team commence in January 2017. It has been pretty quiet around the office without them.
During our National Tree Day (NTD) celebrations at the end of July we held four days of events. Eco Day for Stage 3 for selected students from Parkes and Forbes Shire schools, Forbes Schools Planting Day, our first Forbes NTD with the assistance of the Forbes Neighbourhood Watch group and the Parkes NTD in association with Parkes Shire Council, with the assistance of the Mid Lachlan Valley Parkes Brigade. These events saw over 500 people just in four days volunteer their time to contribute to ‘greening’ our communities. Thank you so much for your support!
I have only managed to cover half of our year in this column, but needless to say, we don’t undertake this work on our own, we are extremely appreciative of our members’ support, staff and councillors of Forbes and Parkes Shire Council, the Landcare NSW Co-ordinator Initiative and Central West Local Land Services, 2PK, Parkes Champion Post and Forbes Advocate for their support and the communities, particularly the volunteers, in the Parkes and Forbes Shires.
We are fortunate to live in safe and vibrant communities and I look forward to working with you again in 2017. We hope that you have a happy and safe Christmas and New Year.
Until 2017, happy Landcaring!