Mullum nature festival success
Mullumbimby Civic Centre was the venue for the first time for the Brunswick Valley Nature Festival, a feast of activities put on by Brunswick Valley Landcare last weekend to mark World Environment Day, and an opportunity for the locals to see the huge amount of volunteer labor that has gone into restoring the rivers and creeks of Mullumbimby.
Friday night opened the festival with a photographic exhibition of 81 entries for ‘Visions of the Valley,’ wonderful photographs that invited the viewer in to deeper ways of experiencing the beauty of the flora, fauna and nature of the valley.
An army of blue soldier crabs against a Mullumbimby backdrop were a ‘March on Mullum,’ a fallen log over a creek formed a ‘Hidden Paradise,’ and a green tree frog declared ‘It’s Good to be Green’ in first, second and third prize taken out by Reid Water, Jimmy Britton and Alan Rayward respectively.
Saturday was the day of walks around town and beyond, as well as the very popular basket making workshop with Lelarnie O’Sullivan in the morning.
Lelarnie demonstrated the making of a traditional water holding basket from a Bangalow palm, a skill that she herself learnt from an indigenous lady from the Northern Territory and that she is now passing on to locals, both indigenous and non-indigenous, who are keen to make use of the plentiful, tough fronds that fall from the palms.
Raffia, nuts, leaves and seeds were all on hand to allow each participant to create her own unique basket, with Mayor CrJan Barham proud of the large agenda basket she was fashioning – ‘a big basket to put all my boring ugly papers in.’
There was a big variety of walks for festival goers to choose from throughout the day, with the opportunity to learn more about bush birds in two different locations in the shire, about the recently completed fish passage on Mullumbimby Creek, about the diversity of plant life of the valley, about bush regeneration techniques and about the huge amount of work that has been done over the past two years on the river bank in Mullumbimby.
Sunday offered the opportunity to attend talks by experts on everything from cane toads to bush birds, and from snakes to the soil beneath our feet.
Festival organiser Jacqui Paine declared the weekend a great success.
“We were looking to provide a different environment, to bring the festival into town so that we could look at things at our own back door,” she said, “and so that we could access a different audience.
“We wanted to look at the different things happening at the river, and to show that land care is not just stuff that happens in the country.
“I’m thrilled with how it’s gone, the great turnout and the great speakers, the way people coming past dropped in, and we were so lucky with the weather.”