The Crommelin Native Arboretum at Pearl Beach celebrated its 43rd birthday on Sunday, August 18, with a barbecue.
Mayor Cr Jane Smith was one of two guest speakers introduced by president Mrs Ros Sumner.
Mayor Smith said the protection of such a special place was such an achievement and was important for a number of reasons including environmentally, socially and the need to keep such places in the face of the pressure of population growth.
She said volunteering helped to build a sense of community.
She said Central Coast Council was taking action to help keep the natural environment, including the new tree chapter in the development control plan, the Greener Places Policy and the draft landcare strategy that was currently out on public exhibition.
“I strongly urge you to look at it,’’ she said.
She also suggesting arboretum volunteers might want to become Coastal Open Space System champions – COSS Champions.”
Ms Sumner said: “Today we celebrate 43 years of continuous involvement of volunteers managing and maintaining this very special area of old native forest on behalf of the Central Coast Council, so a special thanks to this wonderful group of people.
“Over 10 years ago, an additional area of land – the Wildlife Corridor – was added to the arboretum to provide a link for fauna with the adjacent National Park.
“We have planted local indigenous trees which are now quite well established. This growth has allowed us to add under canopy including a flowering shrub area.
“We have been able to continue this long period of management because of a bequest which has to date allowed us to rely on earnings to pay for our running costs.
“The support of the Mayor and staff of the new Central Coast Council has also been of great assistance.”
The original 5.5 hectare arboretum was set aside by the former Gosford council in 1976 at the request of Pearl Beach Progress Association and is maintained on a voluntary basis by arboretum and community members.
It is named after Ms Minard Fannie Crommelin who gave her property near the arboretum to the University of Sydney and is now the Crommelin Biological Research Station.
Ms Crommelin was instrumental in preserving bushland that surrounds Pearl Beach and worked to establish Warrah Sanctuary – which later became part of Brisbane Water National Park.
Interviews (Merilyn Vale), 18 Aug 2019
Ros Sumner, Crommelin Native Arboretum
Jane Smith, Central Coast Council
Photos: Merilyn Vale