Members of Palm Grove/Ourimbah Creek Landcare Group are inviting the community to learn more about the local environment by attending one of the group’s regular meetings.
“Do you wish that we could do more to combat climate change and the frightening loss of biodiversity?
“It’s a global problem, but why not act in our own backyard?
“At least, that’s what we’re trying to do at Ourimbah Creek,” said group member, Brian Patterson.
“Our aim is to transform 24 hectares on the edge of Ourimbah Creek and restore the biodiversity that’s been lost over the last 150 years.
“Whose mental state is not improved by seeing a black and gold regent bower bird darting through the vines of the rainforest canopy?
“Or a lyrebird, that sings so loudly it almost drowns out the noise of the nearby freeway?
“Our physical health is also improved by working in a forest, pulling out weeds, while carefully looking for newly-emerged native seedlings.
“We protect them from hungry wallabies.
“In our nursery, we grow swamp mahogany, red cedar and pencil cedar, providing plants to supplement the natural regeneration.
“We also nurture those patches of old growth rainforest that have survived from the 19th century along the creek, together with groves of the rare paperbark Melaleuca biconvexa that survive in the back swamps,” he said.
“A few years ago, we built a bridge over a natural waterway, and a duck house in the water to keep birds safe from predators.
“This season, a pacific black duck has raised eight ducklings there.
“The task goes on for ever, but the battle against weeds is won more easily than you might think.
“Once the trees grow up they suppress the weeds, and one day we arrive to realise it has become so very beautiful.
“The rejuvenated forest has become a home for swamp wallabies, kites, wrens, yellow robins, whip birds, goshawks, and many other species.
“The yellow-throated scrub wrens build the most amazing hanging nests that help keep their nestlings safe from carpet snakes,” Patterson said.
The group meets every Monday and Thursday between 7:30am to 12:30pm.
“Over the years we have grown older with the forest and, like old trees, individual members eventually keel over.
“But the gap provides space for new saplings, that is, youngsters of sixty or so for whom the odd tick or leech is no deterrent.
“Of course, we would love you to come and join us,” Patterson said.
Media release, Jan 31
Brian Patterson, Palm Grove/Ourimbah Creek Landcare Group