Benefits handed on

Article image - Benefits handed on Landcare volunteers Holly Brock, 7yr, and John Le Messurier, 78yr, create a succession plan.

A new generation of Landcare volunteers in Lake Macquarie, New South Wales, is helping rehabilitate and protect wild areas.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Lake Mac’s Landcare partnership, pulling together the efforts of Landcare groups across the city and Lake Macquarie City Council.

Lake Macquarie Landcare Coordinator, Jason Harvey, said, “Lake Macquarie Landcare is a community-based organisation built on the successful working partnership between passionate local Landcare volunteers and Council.”

The concept has proved an outstanding success, with the movement growing to include more than 200 Landcare groups. 

The organisation was recognised as the best Landcare partnership in Australia at the 2016 National Landcare Awards.

“The value of the effort our Landcare volunteers contributed last year would be knocking on the door of $1 million.

“Now, after 20 years of wonderful contributions from our volunteers, we’re looking towards the next generation – people in their 30s and 40s who care about their local environment and want to do something for their community.”

Attracting younger participants to Landcare doesn’t just create a succession plan.

It ensures the wisdom of veterans such as John Le Messurier, named as the 2018 Australian Gardener of the Year for his work rehabilitating a barren scout campsite in Lake Macquarie, is passed on to future generations.

They include Holly Brock, who at just seven years of age is Lake Macquarie’s youngest Landcare volunteer.

“There are obvious health benefits to getting outdoors and doing something active and productive.

“Then there is the community aspect – getting together with people from your local neighbourhood who are like-minded, forming new friendships and building that sense of pride and belonging.

“There is also an aspect of skill development.

“Recruiting fresh new faces will help ensure Lake Macquarie Landcare continues to thrive for the next 20 years and beyond.”