Blue Mountains Bushcare celebrates its outstanding local volunteers
2022 marks the 30th anniversary of Bushcare at Blue Mountains City Council, and they celebrated in style at their annual Bushcare Awards, held on Saturday 29 October.
Bushcare is a volunteer program that restores and cares for bushland reserves throughout the Blue Mountains. There are over 60 active groups throughout the Blue Mountains, and their consistent and hard work makes a huge difference to the health of our environment and helps protect the World Heritage Area.
The annual Bushcare Awards are an opportunity to celebrate all the volunteers, and honour those who have made outstanding contributions over the year.
After a three-year hiatus, the Bushcare Awards and annual picnic were held in person at Megalong Valley Reserve, allowing the whole Bushcare community to come together to celebrate.
Speaking at the awards, Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill said: “Bushcare has celebrated over 30 years as a grass roots community driven movement in collaboration with Blue Mountains City Council. The Bushcare Program currently services 60 Bushcare and Landcare groups from Lapstone to Mt Wilson, three Catchment Groups and an exciting program of events.
“The passion, hard work and resilience of volunteers and staff continues to inspire the next generation and deliver culturally and environmentally significant outcomes.”
Mayor Greenhill presented individual awards to Haidee Roper and Lucie Chevalier, who received the Hard Yakka Award, Pat Cloughton and Toula Anastas who received the Master Award, Cecily Trist and Jonathon Drew who received the Landcare Legend Award, and Russell Radvanyi who was awarded the Environmental Warrior Award.
Bushcare Volunteer Reuben McPharlin presented the Junior Ryan Strathdee Memorial Shield to Daemon Silk. And Aunty Sharyn Halls was honoured with the Golden Trowel Bushcare Legend Award.
Certificates of Appreciation were also awarded to Hominy Bakery, Blue Mountains Wildplant Rescue Service Inc. and Hugh Todd for their support and service.
The award ceremony was also an opportunity to reflect on the unique challenges the bush and our volunteers have faced over the last three years, with fires, floods and a global pandemic, and to celebrate the resilience, determination and undying positive spirit Bushcare volunteers embody.
As well as the awards, a number of Bushcare groups celebrated milestone birthdays:
- 35 Years
- Centenary Reserve Bushcare
- 25 Years
- Bellata Park Buschare
- Katoomba Creek Bushcare
- 20 Years
- Cross St Bushcare
- Explorers Reserve Bushcare
- 15 Years
- Coates Park Bushcare
- Everglades Landcare
- Woodford Glen Landcare
- 10 Years
- Garguree Swampcare
- Upper Katoomba Creek Bushcare
Photo: Bushcare Officer James Bevan, Mayor Mark Greenhill and previous Golden Trowel recipient Rae Druitt presenting Aunty Sharyn Halls with Golden Trowel Bushcare Legend Award.