It was a delight to discover she could combine the two as she began to meet her neighbours and find that many of them shared her passion for the land, and that residents on two nearby properties, Dave Rawlins and Nadia De Souza Pietramale, were both bush regenerators.
Since Jane had been a member of Brunswick Valley Landcare (BVL) for some years, talk amongst neighbours turned to forming a group under the umbrella of BVL, and Tristran Parade Landcare was born, a group that meets for a working bee one Sunday morning a month, pooling resources and working on one member’s property on a rotating basis.
“It’s about landcare,” said Jane, “but it’s also about getting to know each other.
“And while we work hard, we like people to feel welcome to come just for morning tea if they’re busy or unwell.”
Jane, as co-ordinator of the group, decided that the next step would be to go for a grant, and since she has worked in bureaucracy, knew the homework involved.
Last month the group celebrated the news of the success of the application, $12,000 from the highly competitive NSW Government’s Environmental Trust ‘Community Restoration and Rehabilitation’ program.
“We are especially thrilled,” said Jane, “as we knew this funding was hard to get – 55 applications were submitted but only 22 projects were approved.”
The money will buy 2000 trees to plant on the flat, swampy land of the three properties that stand on the flood plain of the lower section of Tristran Parade, along with a lot of mulch, native fish for the dam, professional bush regeneration to do weed control and monitoring, as well as a workshop at the conclusion of the project for people wanting to regenerate wetland to come along and see how it’s done.
Once completed it will be the largest remnant of swamp sclerophyll forest on coastal floodplains – an ecosystem classified as endangered – in the western part of the Brunswick Valley catchment.
Tristran Parade Landcare is about to get even busier now that the Department of Lands and Byron Shire Council have just given them permission to regenerate an area zoned road reserve between their street and Brushbox Drive, currently a mix of trees and weeds.
“It’s going to be quite a big project,” said Jane, “done in partnership with the Department of Lands and Byron Shire Council, and funded by the fine levelled at the developer who illegally cleared land half-way up our street.”
But the group welcomes the challenge that brings so many benefits.
“A lot of people moved to this street because of that sense of community,” explained Jane, “and just the other day a friend said how she would love to move here because we are so active.
“And soon the regenerated land will be teeming with birds and frogs, a lovely complement to our koala population up the hill.”
Anyone interested in being involved with Tristran Parade Landcare can contact Jane on 6684 6212.
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